The Different Types of Macular Degeneration: Wet Macular Degeneration

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Macular degeneration is an eye condition that is caused by deterioration of the retina (the interior layer of the eye). Macular degeneration affects the macula, which is the part of the retina that gives us clear, detailed vision. With macular degeneration, an individual loses their central vision and cannot see fine details, but their peripheral vision remains unimpaired (imagine looking at someone and having a blurry, black dot where their face should be but still being able to see the outline of their figure).Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common type of macular degeneration and is also the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 55. There are two types of AMD: the wet form and the dry form.

Wet macular degeneration is the most advanced form of AMD and, though it only afflicts 10-15% of individuals with macular degeneration, it causes 90% of the severe vision loss caused by this condition. Wet macular degeneration is generally caused by abnormal blood vessels that grow under the retina and leak fluid or blood into the macula. The symptoms of wet macular degeneration usually appear suddenly and advance quickly. These symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
  • Visual distortion
  • Hazy vision
  • A blurry or blind-spot in your field of vision
  • Decreased ability to view colors
  • Impaired ability to see detail
  • Rapid onset and development of symptoms
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