Dry Macular degeneration affects the health of the retina. The retina is the lining of the eye which responds to light. Here, a cross section of the retina can be seen.
In the “dry” form of macular degeneration, metabolic end products collect underneath the retina. These deposits are called “drusen”. Over time, Dry Macular Degeneration can lead to scarring or thinning of the retina above. Dry macular degeneration may cause gradual central vision loss over time. Every patient has a different course, and some patients preserve vision for a very long time. Your ophthalmologist will monitor your eyes. Ask about how stopping smoking or vitamin formulations can help to slow the progression of dry macular degeneration.
Wet macular degeneration may develop in patients with the “dry” form of macular degeneration. In the “wet” form, blood vessels that are leaky and abnormal begin to grow into the retina. Unlike normal blood vessels in the rest of the body, those seen in “wet” macular degeneration cause swelling or bleeding into the retina. Wet macular degeneration may cause either sudden or gradual loss of vision as these vessels leak fluid or bleed. If untreated, vision loss can progress.