Dry Macular Degeneration
People with intermediate dry macular degeneration have either many medium-sized drusen or one or more large drusen. Some people see a blurred spot in the center of their vision. More light may be needed for reading and other tasks.
In addition to drusen, people with advanced dry macular degeneration have a breakdown of light-sensitive cells and supporting tissue in the central retinal area. This breakdown can cause a blurred spot in the center of your vision. Over time, the blurred spot may get bigger and darker, taking up more of your central vision. You may have difficulty reading or recognizing faces until they are very close to you.
If you have vision loss from dry macular degeneration in one eye only, you may not notice any changes in your overall vision. With the other eye seeing clearly, you still can drive, read, and see fine details. You may notice changes in your vision only if macular degeneration affects both eyes. If blurriness occurs in your vision, see an eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
In order to make a dry macular degeneration diagnosis, your doctor will ask you a number of questions about your medical history and will also perform a comprehensive eye exam.
This comprehensive eye exam may include the following:
- Visual acuity test
- Dilated eye exam
- Amsler grid
- Fluorescein angiogram.
(Click Macular Degeneration Tests for more information on diagnosing this condition.)
There is no cure for dry macular degeneration. Early treatment for intermediate dry macular degeneration may be possible with certain vitamins (see Vitamins for Macular Degeneration or PreserVision). There is no treatment for advanced dry macular degeneration.
Your doctor can describe your treatment options and the expected results of each. You and your doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets your medical needs and personal values. Choosing the most appropriate treatment for dry macular degeneration is a decision that ideally involves both the patient and the healthcare team.
(Click Macular Degeneration Treatment for more information on treatments for this disease.)