Types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration and How to Treat Them
There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. Both destroy the clear, see-straight central vision necessary for reading, driving, identifying faces, watching television and performing other daily activities. Peripheral vision may not be affected and it may be possible to see side views. Dry AMD About 90% of AMD cases are classified as dry Age-related Macular Degeneration. Usually, AMD starts as the dry type and can develop in one or both eyes. This process is slow and can advance over the course of several years, Many people do not even realize they have AMD, because early dry AMD is usually mild and free of symptoms.
Dry AMD has three stages:
- Early: In this stage, central vision is usually not affected. The eyes may have some small drusen, but there is a low risk of it progressing to advanced-dry AMD.
- Intermediate: In this stage, near and distance vision is affected, and a person may have a blind spot or blurring in the central vision. People with intermediate dry AMD are likely to have many medium-sized drusen, or one or more large drusen. After five years with intermediate dry AMD, the risk of it progressing toward the advanced stage is higher, but still low. For people with large drusen in both eyes, the risk of developing advanced AMD is greater.
- Advanced: At the advanced stage, the cells in the macula completely lose their ability to function. There is a definite blurred or blank spot in the centre of one’s sightline. Over time, vision will likely worsen and a person will have difficulty reading or recognizing faces. Up to 43 percent of people in this stage of dry AMD will progress to wet AMD, the more aggressive form of the disease.
Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the most severe form of AMD and can cause a sudden loss of vision within weeks or months. Recognizing and managing wet AMD early can asset in preventing further vision loss. Wet AMD involves the unexpected growth of abnormal blood vessels below the retina, which breaks into the macula causing blood and fluid to leak. Once wet AMD is presented in one eye, the chance of it developing in the second is greater.