What is Dry AMD?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of severe vision loss in elderly patients due to deterioration or breakdown of the eye’s macula. The macula is a small central area in the retina – the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. The macula is the part of the retina that is responsible for your central vision such as reading and driving, allowing you to see fine details clearly. The degree of damage to the macula can vary from patient to patient and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. In the vast majority of cases, AMD does not automatically progress to blindness. Although AMD reduces vision in the central part of the retina, it usually does not affect the eye’s peripheral, or side, vision. Even patients with advanced macular disease tend to retain excellent peripheral vision.
Two types of Age Related Macular degeneration:
- Dry AMD
- Wet AMD
Most people with AMD have the "dry" type. It is caused by aging and thinning of the tissues of the macula. Vision loss is usually gradual. Deposits under the retina called drusen are a common feature of AMD. Drusen alone usually do not cause vision loss, but when they increase in size or number, this generally indicates an increased risk of developing advanced "wet" AMD. The dry type can progress into the "wet" type, and this accounts for about 10 percent of all patients with AMD. Good dietary intake, green leafy vegetables , AREDS supplements, giving up smoking and using sunglasses may stabilise or slow down development of AMD. A lot of promising research is ongoing to reverse the changes of dry macular degeneration.
To learn more about Dry AMD, visit EyeSmart.org