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What is the difference between wet and dry AMD?

Age related macular degeneration (AMD), is a disease that affects the macula of the eye, impacting the ability to see small details. It typically affects people over the age of 65. However, early-onset AMD can affect people in their 40’s and 50’s, but this is less common. There are two forms of the disease, wet AMD and dry AMD, but what is the difference between wet and dry AMD?

AMD
AMD attacks the macula, the spot at the center of the retina, which controls central vision. AMD damages the central vision, therefore people with the disease often find it difficult to recognize faces, or read the words on the page of a book or newspaper.

Dry AMD
Most people with AMD will develop dry AMD. The disease develops slowly, and is caused by a build-up of waste products that form on the macula below the retina, and cause the macula to deteriorate.

Wet AMD
Wet AMD is the more serious form of the disease, and is more likely to lead to vision loss. It is caused by very small blood vessels that grow beneath the retina, which leak blood and fluid that damage the macula. Wet AMD was once impossible to treat, but eye injections have been developed that restore vision loss caused by wet AMD.

There is no cure for AMD, but with early detection, doctors can treat it effectively and slow its progression. Regular visits to the ophthalmologist are recommended, because vision can be maintained when you get treated early.

To learn more about the differences between wet and dry AMD, contact the Center for Ophthalmology and Laser Surgery, Lighthouse Point, FL. Call (954) 786-5353 today, and schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Loeffler.