Dry macular degeneration is a prevalent form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). With this type, there is an evident change in the pigment eye cells. The condition progresses in a slow manner and the vision loss tends to vary but rarely leads to blindness.
What are the phases of dry macular degeneration?
In some cases, there is atrophy of the macular tissue and minimal scarring. The condition develops in 3 phases:
- Early – there is the presence of drusen which is comprised of small yellowish material that accumulates inside the retina. This is detected during a dilated eye exam by the doctor.
- Intermediate – this occurs with the presence of one or several drusen or an erratically-shaped drusen. It can be accompanied by blurry vision and the need for more light to read. Objects might appear distorted in the central vision and a blind spot might form.
- Advanced – at this phase, the changes in the pigment start to form in the retina and the layer of the retina that is highly sensitive to light deteriorates. The scarring can lead to substantial alteration in the central vision. The central blind spots are wider which makes it hard or intolerable to read or utilize the straight-ahead central vision.
An individual with the advanced stage of dry macular degeneration start to utilize their peripheral vision that remains intact.
Those who have the advanced stage will not go blind since the peripheral vision is retained and utilize it effectively. Nevertheless, it can lead to significant loss of central vision.