During the early stages, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may not have any symptoms and may be unrecognized until it progresses or affects both eyes. AMD also causes no pain that might suggest that something is wrong. The first sign of macular degeneration is usually distortion of straight lines. This may progress to a gradual loss of central vision.
Symptoms of macular degeneration include:
• Straight lines appear distorted, or the center of vision becomes distorted.
• Dark, blurry areas or white out appears in the center of vision.
• At times diminished or changed color perception.
• Blind spots may develop, and people normally have more difficulty seeing color and fine detail
• Impaired depth perception
• Need for higher light levels
• Poor tolerance for changing light levels
Visual symptoms or eye pain may not be symptoms of age-related macular degeneration and you may need prompt diagnosis and treatment of a different eye condition.
Stages of Macular Degeneration
There are three stages of Macular Degeneration:
• Early AMD – Most people do not experience vision loss in the early stage of AMD. Early AMD is diagnosed by the presence of medium-sized DRUSEN.
• Intermediate AMD – At this stage, there may be some vision loss, but there still may not be noticeable symptoms. A complete eye exam with specific tests will look for larger drusen and/or pigment changes in the retina.
• Late AMD – At this stage, vision loss has become noticeable.