Types of Macular Degeneration - Medical Eye Center, Medford, Grants Pass, Oregon

Types of Macular Degeneration

The two main categories of age-related macular degeneration are ‘dry’ (atrophic) and ‘wet’ (exudative):

‘Dry’ or Atrophic Macular Degeneration

Most people have the ‘dry’ form of macular degeneration. It is caused by aging and thinning of the tissues of the macula. Vision loss is usually gradual.

‘Wet’ or Exudative Macular Degeneration

The ‘wet’ form of macular degeneration accounts for about 10% of all macular degeneration cases. It results when abnormal blood vessels form underneath the retina at the back of the eye. These new, abnormal blood vessels leak fluid or blood and blur central vision. Vision loss may be rapid and severe.

Macular Degeneration Symptoms

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Macular degeneration can cause different symptoms in different people. The condition may be hardly noticeable in its early stages. Sometimes only one eye loses vision while the other eye continues to see well for many years. But when both eyes are affected, the loss of central vision may be noticed more quickly. The following are some common ways vision loss is detected:

  • Words on a page or faces look blurred
  • An empty area appears in the center of vision
  • Straight lines look distorted


Macular Degeneration Treatments


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Visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s webpage on Macular Degeneration.