What is the difference between dry and wet age-related macular degeneration

What is the difference between dry and wet age-related macular degeneration

  • All patients with macular degeneration start with the dry form of macular degeneration. Around 10% of patients develop the wet form of macular degeneration in the later stages of the disease.

Dry Macular Degeneration

  • Impacts 90% of patients with macular degeneration.
  • Starts with deposits that build up underneath the retina called drusen.
  • These deposits (drusen) cause a slow thinning of the macula (center vision) over many years.
  • The early form of dry macular degeneration does not cause any vision symptoms, so regular follow up with your eye doctor is important to detect these changes.
  • Eye vitamins known as AREDS 2 vitamins can help reduce the rate of progression of dry macular degeneration by 20% over a 5 year period. Make sure you discuss with your eye doctor to determine if you are a candidate for these eye supplements.
  • The slow thinning of the retina leads to a gradual loss of central vision.
  • Advanced stage of dry macular degeneration is known as geographic atrophy (GA). At this stage, patients have loss of their retinal cells in the macula and can experience a significant decrease in central vision.

Wet Macular Degeneration

  • Around 10% of patients with macular degeneration develop new vessels underneath the retina that can cause bleeding and swelling of the macula known as wet macular degeneration.
  • This typically causes a more rapid decline in central vision and distorted vision.
  • Treatments for wet macular degeneration act against the leaky blood vessels. These treatments help preserve vision in over 95% patients.
  • Prompt diagnosis and early treatment is very important to have the best possible prognosis.

The doctors at Retina Associates of Florida provide the latest diagnostic and treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in their Tampa, Brandon and Lakeland offices.

The website/blog does not provide medical, professional, or licensed advice and are not a substitute for consultation with a health care professional. 


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