Primary Health Insurance:
United Health Care
North Mississippi Acclaim
About 14 million Americans and about 196 million people worldwide have age-related macular degeneration. The number keeps growing as people get older. According to studies, the number of Americans with AMD should be about 22 million by 2050. AMD is a chronic eye condition that causes vision changes. If untreated, it can lead to severe vision loss and blindness.
It usually comes in two primary forms, dry and wet. Of the two, wet AMD is the most fatal and is usually only considered advanced. Once you are diagnosed with wet AMD, managing it and keeping watch for specific symptoms is important. Treating the symptoms early is key to maintaining your vision.
So, what is wet AMD? What symptoms should you watch out for? Read on to learn more.
As mentioned above, it is one of two main AMD forms. The main difference between the two is the type of damage they cause to the macula. The macular part of the retina controls and allows for central vision. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels in the retina rupture and leak into the macula. The fluid damages the sensitive tissues and the photoreceptors in the area.
The symptoms of wet AMD often manifest suddenly and progress quickly. You should see an eye doctor immediately if you notice the following symptoms.
As the macula affects central vision, a common symptom is blurry vision at the center of your field of vision. The first thing you will notice with this symptom is that you will struggle to read words. As time passes, you will start having trouble recognizing faces, reading street signs, and other things. The condition is usually painless, so you need to rely on the symptoms to know if it is time to see a doctor.
If you are already receiving treatment for wet AMD and your vision worsens, notify your doctor as soon as possible. The sooner they can address the cause, the better they can manage the condition.
Another key symptom of wet AMD is having a dark patch in your field of vision. Usually, it will develop slowly, and you may not even notice it. However, it will keep growing as the cause advances. Usually, it comes about because of abnormal blood vessels growing under the retina. They begin to leak and damage the macula, causing scarring—the scarring results in a dark spot in the middle of your field of vision.
A hallmark symptom of advancing wet AMD is your color vision worsening. The macula is rich in photoreceptors and has more of them than any other part of the retina. The signals from this part of the retina are necessary for your brain to process color. When abnormal blood vessels damage the macula, your color vision worsens. If you notice it getting worse faster, it is wise to seek medical attention immediately.
Due to the dark spot that may develop in your central vision, you will struggle to see in poor light environments. If you notice you are struggling more than usual, it could signify advancing damage to the macula. It would be best to see an eye doctor as soon as possible.
For more about the signs of wet macular degeneration, call Primary Eye Care at (662) 200-9842 to reach our office in Tupelo, Mississippi.