This is by far the most common type of macular degeneration and is generally associated with getting older. This is why you will often hear it referred to as age related macular degeneration (ARMD). The reason it is called ‘dry’ is nothing to do with how it feels. It just means that there are no leaking blood vessels associated with the condition which is what occurs during wet macular degeneration. The disease can be thought of as a gradual natural ageing process of the macular cells. You can think of the rate at which it deteriorates as similar to that of your hair going grey; it slowly gets worse over many years.
Most people with dry macular degeneration notice a slow reduction in their central vision (especially when reading) and will not see colours as well (this is noticed less often). In the early stages they will probably find they need more light to do tasks such as reading and writing and they will also find they cannot do it as quickly as they once could. It is generally agreed that the longer you have the condition, the more likely your vision is to deteriorate. There are no real treatments of dry macular degeneration; it is really just a case of learning how best to manage the condition.
You will typically experience a painless reduction in your central vision over many years. In the early stages you will find that you need more light to do tasks such as reading and writing and you will not read as quickly as you once could. As it progresses you may be aware of small blind spots (area of blurriness) in your vision which can slowly enlarge. People often complain that objects appear to be a slightly different shape or size to what they should be.
This information is provided purely as a guide and in no way constitutes medical advice. If you are in doubt about the health of your eyes you should consult your doctor or optometrist.
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