What Are the Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

What Are the Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Symptoms of "dry" macular degeneration

• Need bright light to see objects close up

• Words or sentences become blurred while reading

• Colors do not look as bright as before

• Images are blurred near the center of one's vision Symptoms of "wet" age-related macular degeneration

• Straight lines become curved or bent

• Closeup objects seem small in size and look as if they are distant

• A blind spot appears in images near the center of vision

The macula is an oval-shaped pigmented area near the center of the retina, a highly light-sensitive region located at the back of the eye. Its role is to present the images of an object to the retina before transmitting them to the brain via the optic nerve. The macula is responsible for sharp central vision for daily activities like reading, driving, and differentiating faces and details, whereas other parts of the retina are responsible for peripheral vision. Aging accelerates macular degeneration, causing blurred vision and, in severe cases, blindness. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in elderly people. The incidence rate is higher in the US and Europe compared to other regions of the world. In the US, 10 million people are afflicted with age-related macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration can be divided into two types:

• "Dry" macular degeneration. About 85–90% of age-related macular degeneration belongs to this type.

• "Wet" macular degeneration. About 10–15% of age-related macular degeneration belongs to this type.