What is the Difference Between Dry vs. Wet Macular Degeneration?

  • By:Dr. Katie Dugan

Age-related macular degeneration (commonly known as AMD) is a progressive eye disease that usually affects people in the later years of life. The macula is the portion of the eye that manages the clarity of central vision.

When you have a healthy macula, it is easy to see faces, read, distinguish between different colors, drive, and keep up with other daily activities. As the macula degrades, it can hurt overall vision – which affects your ability to do the things that you love.

Is There a Cure for AMD?

At this point, there is no cure for AMD. But early detection and proactive treatment can help to manage the disease and slow the progression. The first step in choosing the right treatment is to diagnose the type of macular degeneration that you have: wet or dry.

  • Dry Macular Degeneration: This type of AMD happens when the cells within the macula begin to atrophy, which causes the macula to become thin. This process deteriorates the function of the macula. It usually has a slow progression, and might transform into the wet form of macular degeneration in the future.
  • Wet Macular Degeneration: Wet AMD is not as common, but it is a more serious form of this eye disease. 9 out of 10 people with wet AMD will lose their vision eventually. The macula is damaged due to fluids that leak from the blood vessels within the eye. The formation of abnormal blood vessels changes the structure of the eye, and eventually, they start leaking. As a result, the macula pulls or lifts from the normal position.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Macular Degeneration

Treatments vary depending on the type of macular degeneration you are experiencing. The best thing you can do is consult with an experienced eye doctor for an official diagnosis. Then, we can create a treatment plan to protect your vision as much as possible.

Even if you don’t think you are at risk for AMD, regular eye exams are the foundation for maintaining healthy vision. We can help with catching eye conditions in the earliest stages, which improves the long-term outlook. For more information about AMD and other eye diseases, our team is here to help. Call to schedule an appointment at the Murrieta office: (951) 600-9226, or the Temecula office: (951) 302-1331.

Posted in: Eye Diseases