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Home » Eye Care Services » Your Eye Health » Eye Diseases » Macular Degeneration » Forms of Macular Degeneration

Forms of Macular Degeneration

There are two forms of macular degeneration, dry (non-neovascular) or wet (neovascular).  The term neovascular refers to the growth of new blood vessels.

Dry AMD (non-neovascular)

Dry AMD is the most common form of the disease, making up about 85%-90% of all cases of AMD. It is characterized by blurred central vision or blind spots, as the macula begins to deteriorate.  Dry AMD is an early stage of the disease and is less severe than the wet form.

Dry AMD occurs when the aging tissues of the macula begin to thin out and break down.  Tiny pieces of white or yellowish protein called drusen begin to appear, which are thought to be deposited from the macular tissue as it deteriorates. The appearance of these drusen is often what leads to a diagnosis of AMD during an eye exam.

With dry AMD vision loss happens gradually, however, the dry form can progress to wet AMD rapidly.  There is currently no cure for dry AMD, however, there is research that shows that some people can benefit from supplemental vitamin therapy including antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

Wet AMD (neovascular)

Wet AMD is less common occurring in only about 10 percent of those with AMD. AMD is classified as Wet AMD when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow under the retina and leak fluid and blood into the macula, resulting in blind spots and a loss of central vision. Wet AMD can cause more damage to vision and permanent scarring if not treated quickly, so any sudden blur in vision should be assessed immediately, especially if one is aware that they have AMD. Usually, vision loss happens faster and is more noticeable than in dry AMD so the quicker it is treated, the more vision you can preserve.

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COVID-19 UPDATE

Due to the coronavirus outbreak and the potential community spread of the virus, the clinic will be closed on the recommendation of the College of Optometrists of Ontario. For the safety of our patients, staff and doctors we will remain closed until at least March 30th, 2020. This may change as the directives change from the Ministry of Health and College of Optometrists, and we will continue to update our patients.

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