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Home » Eye Care Services » Eye Health » Eye Diseases » Macular Degeneration » Forms of Macular Degeneration

Forms of Macular Degeneration

There are two forms of macular degeneration, dry (non-neovascular) or wet (neovascular). The term neovascular refers to the growth of new blood vessels.

Dry AMD (non-neovascular)

Dry AMD is the most common form of the disease, making up about 85%-90% of all cases of AMD. It is characterized by blurred central vision or blind spots, as the macula begins to deteriorate. Dry AMD is an early stage of the disease and is less severe than the wet form,.

Dry AMD occurs when the aging tissues of the macula begin to thin out and break down. Tiny pieces of white or yellowish protein called drusen begin to appear, which are thought to be deposits from the macular tissue as it deteriorates. The appearance of these drusen are often what leads to a diagnosis of AMD during an eye exam.

With dry AMD vision loss happens gradually, however, the dry form can progress to wet AMD rapidly. There is currently no cure for dry AMD, however there is research that shows that some people can benefit from supplemental vitamin therapy including antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Wet AMD (neovascular)

Wet AMD is less common occurring in only about 10 percent of those with AMD. AMD is classified as Wet AMD when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow under the retina and leak fluid and blood into the macula, resulting in blind spots and a loss of central vision. Wet AMD can cause more damage to vision and permanent scarring if not treated quickly, so any sudden blur in vision should be assessed immediately, especially if one is aware that they have AMD. Usually vision loss happens faster and is more noticeable than in dry AMD so the quicker it is treated, the more vision you can preserve.

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Per CDC guidelines, we will once again be scheduling routine eye examinations for glasses and contact lenses. We thank all of you for your patience and understanding in postponing non-essential care over the last six weeks. Of course, we continue to be available for any medically related eyecare needs. The health and safety of our staff and patients continue to be of the utmost importance, so we will be using CDC recommended precautions for cleaning and social distancing. We ask that you wear a mask or face covering into the office. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently been exposed to anyone with COVID-19, we ask you to postpone your appointment.

Thank you for your support and for allowing us to serve you and your families.

We look forward to seeing all of you soon.

Best regards,

Dr. Kent Voyce