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Types of Macular Degeneration

Intermediate 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.
Advanced Dry Macular Degeneration
In addition to having 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.

Comparing Macular Degeneration Types

There are similarities and differences between dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. For example:
  • While dry macular degeneration has three stages, wet macular degeneration only has the most advanced stage.
  • Vision loss occurs in both advanced dry macular degeneration and advanced wet macular degeneration.
  • People who have advanced macular degeneration in one eye are at especially high risk of developing advanced macular degeneration in the other eye.
  • While the dry form of macular degeneration is more common, of those people with advanced macular degeneration, about two thirds of them have wet macular degeneration.
  • Because almost all vision loss comes from advanced macular degeneration, the wet form leads to significantly more vision loss than the dry form.
  • The dry form of macular degeneration can turn into wet macular degeneration. All people who have wet macular degeneration had dry macular degeneration first.
  • Dry macular degeneration can advance and cause vision loss without turning into the wet form. The dry form also can suddenly turn into the wet form, even during early-stage dry macular degeneration. There is no way to tell if or when the dry form will turn into the wet form.
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Macular Degeneration Types

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