HOW DO DRY AND WET MACULAR DEGENERATION DIFFER?

Dr. Jim Martin 02/08/2016

macular_degeneration_eye_scan.pngMacular degeneration is a vicious disease that robs millions of Americans of their ability to see. According to the American Society of Retina Specialists, there are approximately 15 million people living with blurred vision, the inability to see in dim lighting and blindness as a result of the condition, of which there are two types — wet and dry.

Here is a look at the difference between wet and dry macular degeneration:

Dry Macular Degeneration

Most macular degeneration starts as the dry type. Dry macular degeneration is found in about 80 to 90 percent of people who are initially diagnosed with the condition.

Dry macular degeneration progresses much more slowly than the wet type. It typically starts with small deposits of drusen in the macula, which is located in the center of the retina and responsible for allowing you to see things in sharp, clear images. Drusen is usually white or yellow in color and it causes deterioration of an important layer of the retina.

Symptoms of dry macular degeneration include visual distortions and reduced central vision. Over time, dry macular degeneration can become wet macular degeneration.

Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet macular degeneration affects anywhere between 10 and 15 percent of people living with the condition. It is the more severe of the two types of macular degeneration, accounting for about 90 percent of all severe vision loss in people with the disease.

The condition is almost always related to the aging process. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels that are located beneath the retina begin to grow toward the macula. These blood vessels often break and bleed. This causes fluid to leak into the macula, which damages it, pulling it up and away from its base.

People who are living with wet macular degeneration have many of the same symptoms as people with the dry type — only the symptoms can come on much more quickly and be more severe. These symptoms include visual distortions, reduced central vision, a significant decrease in the intensity of bright colors and a general haziness in everything the person sees.
It can also lead to permanent blindness.

Get Screened For Dry And Wet Macular Degeneration Today

If you or someone you love is suffering from the symptoms of dry or wet macular degeneration, connect with the eye care experts at Broome Optical in Amarillo, Texas. We have the experience and expertise to diagnose and manage both types of macular degeneration and make sure that you or your loved one experience the best vision possible.

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