(1) THE STAGES OF DRY MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD):
DRY AMD has three stages, all of which may occur in one or both eyes: The three primary stages of Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are shown in these illustrations. They are: EARLY, INTERMEDIATE AND LATE. Note at the back of the eye (where the macula is located) the changes that are occurring. The macula is the small and center part of the retina which gives you straight ahead vision, sharpness and aids in identification of color. Each individual will experience different levels of vision loss as the macula deteriorates. Your eye care specialist will help you define the stage you are experiencing and help you understand when or if the stages will progress. If you have been diagnosed with Age Related Macular Degeneration (note: other kinds of Macular Degeneration exist), regular checkups are critical to your eye health and retaining your vision. If you have been diagnosed with either Early or Dry AMD begin treatments as soon as possible, your eye care specialist will help you select the treatment best suited for you.
No AMD. Here we see an illustration of the cross section of the eye without AMD. Note, there are no drusen or degradation of the macula or retina. Everything is clear.
Early AMD. People with early AMD have either several small drusen or a few medium-sized drusen. At this stage, there are no symptoms and no vision loss.
Intermediate AMD. People with intermediate AMD have either many medium-sized drusen or one or more large drusen. Some people see a blurred or dark spot in the center of their vision. More light may be needed for reading and other tasks. Some people complain of color changes or loss. Some distortion of shapes may occur.
Advanced Dry AMD. In addition to drusen, people with advanced dry AMD have a breakdown of light-sensitive cells and supporting tissue in the central retinal area. This breakdown can cause a blurred spot in the center of your vision. Over time, the blurred spot may get bigger and darker, taking more of your central vision. You may have difficulty reading or recognizing faces until they are very close to you. You will use your peripheral vision to see, colors will often change or fade. Distortion of shapes often occurs.
If you have vision loss from dry AMD in one eye only, you may not notice any changes in your overall vision. With the other eye seeing clearly, you still can drive, read, and see fine details. You may notice changes in your vision only if AMD affects both eyes.
(2) VISUAL STAGES OF AMD
Examples of Macular Degeneration (AMD):
The likelihood that you will develop Macular Disease increases as you age. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the most common type of macular degeneration. As we age, our chances of developing AMD increase up to 30%. What follows are common examples of macular degeneration (AMD) in their various stages and manifestations, followed by a final example showing all 4 Stages.
Click on the slides below to see the various stages of AMD:
Illustrated Stages of AMD in the Eye
Stage I Incipient AMD/Underway
Normal Vision Picture
Stage II AMD
-Gray dead spot in center
-Some color loss
-Distortion to basic image
-peripheral vision is still good