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Eye Health Center

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Age-Related Macular Degeneration - Symptoms

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can cause these symptoms:

  • Central vision becomes dim, fuzzy, or less sharp.
  • Reading requires more light than it did in the past.
  • You find it harder to see people's faces clearly.
  • Objects appear distorted or smaller than they really are.
  • A new blank or blind spot develops in your central field of vision.
  • Straight lines begin to appear wavy or curved. This is usually the first symptom of wet AMD.
  • You have a loss of central vision that does not go away or becomes worse over time. The loss may be severe and rapid if you have wet AMD.

The symptoms of wet and dry AMD differ in two important ways:

Recommended Related to Macular Degeneration

Understanding Macular Degeneration -- Diagnosis and Treatment

Your ophthalmologist or optometrist will inspect the macula, the portion of the retina that is responsible for your central vision, as part of a comprehensive eye exam. If macular degeneration is suspected, a special photographic procedure using dye, called fluorescein angiography or another test called OCT imaging may be performed. The tests detail the pattern of your eye's blood vessels and retinal anatomy and can detect a variety of abnormalities.  

Read the Understanding Macular Degeneration -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

  • How fast the vision changes are
    • Dry AMD happens slowly. Vision changes may be so gradual that you don't notice them.
    • Wet AMD happens suddenly. Symptoms tend to appear suddenly and get worse fast.
  • How bad the vision changes are
    • Dry AMD symptoms are usually mild at first. Later, the symptoms can be more severe.
    • Wet AMD tends to cause more severe vision changes and vision loss.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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