Symptoms of Age Related Macular Degeneration
Publish date 06-03-2016


Symptoms of Age Related Macular Degeneration. Central scotoma © 2016 American Academy of Ophthalmology

 

 

 

Symptoms of Age Related Macular Degeneration


 

Knowing and recognizing

Symptoms of Age Related Macular Degeneration

will help with early diagnosis and allow you to receive the best possible treatments and prognosis
 
It is important to note that those in the early stages of AMD are often asymptomatic, so it is vital that you have your eyes examined regularly by a professional who will recognize the development of

macular drusens

or other abnormalities that may indicate the presence of disease.


Common Symptoms of Age-Related macular degeneration  ( AMD Symptoms )

 


Lack of Pain

Many people associate disease with some type of pain or discomfort; however, since AMD is typically painless, it is important that you do not ignore any unusual symptoms as they may be early indicators of a more serious problem.


Blurred Vision

AMD primarily affects your central vision, or your “straight ahead” vision, and your ability to see objects clearly. One of the first obvious symptoms of disease onset, particularly Dry AMD, is the clouding or blurring of your central vision, especially in dimmer lighting.

This blurring will also make it difficult to see fine details sharply and you may find it necessary to increase lighting when reading, writing, or sewing. You may also find that your eyes have difficulty adjusting to lighting changes, such as moving from a brightly lit area to a darker room.


Color Perception Problems

 

 

 

There may be a decrease in the intensity of colors and you may notice that they appear less vivid and even faded or washed out. You may also experience some form of color blindness with difficulty discerning between certain colors.


Difficulty Recognizing Faces

Blurred vision, blind spots, or an inability to see details clearly may make it hard for you to recognize faces until you are very close to them.


Visual Distortion
 
The most common visual disruptions are referred to as

metamorphopsia

which causes straight lines, such as telephone poles, street signs, or sentences in a book, to appear curved or wavy. You may also have difficulty with size and distance perception, making objects seem smaller or farther away. Visual distortion, particularly the

wavy lines

, is one of the early manifestations of Wet AMD.


Scotoma

This is a dark area or blind spot in the center of your visual field.


Visual Hallucinations

AMD may cause a disruption in the connection between your brain and the photoreceptors in the eye. In this case, your brain may receive incorrect messages, causing you to see unusual patterns, figures, or even non-existent objects such as animals or faces.
 
In cases of Dry Macular Degeneration, symptoms generally progress quite slowly, and proper treatment may help with vision preservation. Wet AMD is advanced, with the loss of vision acuity being quite severe and rapid.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, contact your eye care professional immediately. And, remember that the best treatment is early detection so be sure to have your eyes examined regularly.