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Macular Degeneration Symptoms

MEDICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA 
Macular Degeneration Symptoms
Macular Degeneration
Causes and Risk Factors
Symptoms
Diagnosis
Treatment

The signs and symptoms of macular degeneration may vary, depending on which type of macular degeneration you are experiencing. In either form of macular degeneration, however, vision may falter in one eye while the other remains fine for years. You may not notice any or much change because the good eye compensates for the weak one. You may notice changes in your vision only if AMD affects both eyes. Vision and lifestyle change dramatically when the condition develops in both eyes.

Early symptoms of macular degeneration
The first sign of macular degeneration may be a need for more light during close-up work. Fine print, for example, may become harder to read or street signs can become difficult to recognize. Another early symptom of macular degeneration is that straight lines appear distorted or crooked. And gray or blank spots can cover the center of the field of vision. The condition usually develops gradually, but can also progress rapidly and lead to severe vision loss in one or both eyes.

Symptoms of dry AMD
The most common symptom of dry AMD is slightly blurred vision. Details appear less clearly, such as faces or words in a book. Often this blurred vision will go away in brighter light. As loss of light-sensing cells increases, a small blind spot can appear in the middle of their field of vision. During dry macular degeneration the following symptoms can manifest:

  • blurred or blind spot in the center the visual field
  • colors appear less bright
  • details appear less clearly
  • difficulty adapting to low levels of light
  • difficulty recognizing faces
  • gradual increase in the haziness of overall vision
  • growing blind spot in central vision
  • need more light for reading and other tasks
  • need to scan the eyes all around an object to provide a more complete image
  • printed words appear blurry
  • severe decrease in central vision acuity
  • slightly blurred vision

Symptoms of wet AMD
The classic early symptom is that straight lines appear crooked. This results when fluid from the leaking blood vessels gathers and lifts the macula, distorting vision. A small blind spot may also appear during wet AMD, resulting in a loss of central vision. During wet macular degeneration ,the following symptoms can manifest:

  • central blurry spot
  • decrease in or loss of central vision
  • visual distortions - straight lines appear wavy or crooked, objects appear smaller or farther away than they should

When to seek help
An eye care professional can detect drusen or changes in the macular during a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Anytime blurriness occurs in your vision, see an eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam. If you notice that straight lines become wavy or if other changes to your vision occur, contact your eye care professional at once. You need a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

Since early signs of AMD may go unnoticed, the best way to detect AMD is with frequent, thorough eye examinations before symptoms present. But how do eye professionals diagnose macular degeneration or types of AMD? Who should you see and what tests should you expect? Continue reading our next section on how to diagnose age related macular degeneration to learn more.

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