In Macular Degeneration (AMD), the macula is disrupted by deposits called drusen, or other age-related changes. These changes, if severe enough, may cause vision to deteriorate.  When the macula breaks down, you lose your central vision, but it does not affect your peripheral (side) vision. Associated with the aging process; the macula may lose effectiveness over time.  Early AMD may be hardly noticeable, and may only occur in one eye.  You may notice blurring of words on a page, difficulty recognizing people’s faces, dark or empty areas in the center of your vision, and/or distortion of straight lines. 

There are two types of Macular Degeneration:

 Atrophic (“dry”) macular degeneration and Exudative (“wet”) macular degeneration.

Atrophic (Dry) AMD

Atrophic or Dry AMD is caused by aging and thinning of macular tissues or when drusen are present.  It is the most common form of macular degeneration, affecting over 12 million Americans.  Vision loss is usually gradual and less severe than in Wet AMD.  While there is no current treatment for Dry AMD, good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle may slow its progression.

Exudative (Wet) AMD

Exudative or Wet AMD is caused when abnormal blood vessels form underneath the retina.  These vessels leak blood and or fluid and blur the central vision.  Vision loss may be rapid and severe.

Treatment options for Wet AMD have made unprecedented advances in the last 3 years with the introduction of Anti-VEGF therapy (a drug treatment that works to slow down and reverse the abnormal blood vessel development).  Macular degeneration treatment at East Florida Eye Institute includes the most advanced procedures available.  See our treatment options for Macular Degeneration on our Advanced Treatments page.