If you have recently been diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), you may feel relieved to put a name to what has been going on with your vision. However, on the other hand you are now probably worried about the information your doctor shared regarding the fact that wet AMD can eventually lead to vision loss.
To better understand AMD, you need to know that it affects the back of the eye called the retina. As J. Michael Jumper, MD, a partner of the West Coast Retina Medical Group in San Francisco and a board member of the American Society of Retina Specialists explains, “The macula is the area in the center of the retina, and that’s where your eye sharply focuses when recognizing faces and reading.” Furthermore, while there are two types of AMD (wet and dry), wet AMD is a progression of dry AMD rather than a separate condition. Luckily most people do not progress from dry AMD to wet AMD.
Doctors say while there is no cure for wet AMD, it is important to get regular eye exams as there are therapies and treatments to help lessen the damage from the disease and preserve your vision. Dr. Jumper says. “There’s now a good chance of maintaining vision with proper treatment. The earlier wet AMD is detected and the better vision is when treatment is started, the better the long-term outcome may be.”
The American Academy of Ophthalmology says while the disease progresses slowly the symptoms of wet AMD include seeing a dark spot or several dark spots in the center of your field of vision. Another sign is noticing lines or a grid appears wavy or blurry.
Age is the biggest risk factor for wet AMD and more common in people 60 years or older. The disease also has other risk factors such as being Caucasian, a family history of AMD, smoking, heart disease, high cholesterol, and being overweight. Doctors say eating foods rich in saturated fats may also contribute to wet AMD.
This post is intended for informational purposes only. Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.
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