Medical Experts agree there are three primary stages for Dry AMD:  The stages are: EARLY-STAGE AMD, INTERMEDIATE-STAGE AMD, AND LATE-STAGE AMD. There will be a different level of vision loss for each patient, according to their physiology, as the macula begins to degrade. Thus the symptoms will be different for many and the appearance or occurrence of the symptoms will also vary. Some individuals, when first diagnosed, will appear asymptomatic for many years and may never realize the full degradation of AMD. The Stages of AMD are as follows: 


HEALTHY EYE / NO AMD. This is an illustration of a healthy eye, without AMD. There is no observed deterioration of either the macula or retina. 









EARLY-STAGE AMD. In this phase, the individual begins to exhibit small drusen (the yellow spots). Drusen are the small fatty lipid acid cellular build-ups that remain when the blood vessels are no longer capable of breaking down and transporting all the metabolic waste from cellular activity away.  Typically, during this early stage, there would be no symptoms and there would be no vision loss.











INTERMEDIATE AMD. Patients at this stage now will have a number of medium-sized drusen or a few large-sized drusen. (Note the larger yellow clump in the back of the eye.) At this point, symptoms will appear as possibly a cloudy or dark spot in the center of their vision. Other symptoms may include color loss or diminishment, wavy field of vision, and loss of contrast sensitivity.




ADVANCED DRY AMD.  At this later-stage, there is a breakdown of photo-light sensitive cells and the metabolic process in the central retinal area. Rod and cone cells have either shut down and stopped working, and/or in other cases, they have died. This cellular destruction will cause a dark cloudy spot in the patient's center of vision, or possibly even a black hole in the worst cases. With time, the spot get larger, and destroys even more central vision.


As we age, the chance of developing AMD increases significantly.  By the time most individuals in the western world hit 75 years of age, there is a 30-35% chance they will have some form of AMD.  The following are visual examples of what people who have macular degeneration would see. All 3 Stages of macular degeneration progression in a patient are detailed below.

Visual & Illustrated Stages of AMD in the Eye

Click on the slides below to see the various stages of AMD:​

Normal Vision 

Stage I Early AMD

-Initial Streaks and some blackness starts

-Dead Spot in center emerges: ("geographic atrophy")

-Cloud forms around dead spot 

-Distortion begins

-Loss of some brightness

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