Macular Degeneration Symptoms
Common macular degeneration symptoms include blurry vision, straight lines appearing crooked, and dark areas in the center of vision. However, these symptoms are not always associated with macular degeneration. Anyone experiencing possible signs and symptoms of macular degeneration is encouraged to see an eye care professional for a proper diagnosis.
Macular degeneration rarely leads to complete blindness, but it can cause severe and irreversible loss of central vision. Side, or peripheral, vision remains, but the center of vision, which is needed for daily tasks like reading and driving, is destroyed.
Common macular degeneration symptoms include:
- Blurry vision
- Seeing straight lines as crooked or wavy
- A dark, empty area appearing in the center of vision
- Drusen, which are yellow deposits under the retina.
Pain is not a symptom of macular degeneration.
The most common symptom of early dry macular degeneration is blurred vision. As fewer cells in the macula are able to function, people will see details less clearly in front of them, such as faces or words in a book. Often, this blurred vision will go away in brighter light.
If the loss of these light-sensing cells becomes great, people may see a small (but growing) blind spot in the middle of their field of 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 you experience blurriness, it's a good idea to see an eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam.