Normal Vision Vs. Vision with advanced AMD
Stages of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
As a progressive disease, AMD reveals itself in stages.
- Subclinical AMD
This the earliest detectable stage of age-related macular degeneration. The first warning sign is trouble seeing at night. Many people blame poor night vision on the normal aging process and don’t report the symptom to their doctor. Don’t make that mistake. If you begin having difficulty reading in dim light or adjusting to seeing in the dark, let us know. Identifying AMD at this point is critical to proactively manage the disease.
- Early to Intermediate AMD
Before we learned that trouble seeing at night is the first symptom of AMD, eye care professionals relied on diagnosing the disease during the early or intermediate stages by identifying drusen - yellow fatty deposits under your retina - which is a physical indicator of AMD.
- Advanced AMD
Patient notice central vision blurriness as the disease advances. The transition from early-stage AMD can happen rapidly. If left untreated, it can lead to legal blindness in as little as six months. While treatment options can slow the progression of late AMD, nothing can reverse the damage already done.
AMD Symptoms and Risk Factors
The earliest symptom of AMD is difficulty seeing at night, also known as impaired dark adaption. We can test for impaired dark adaption using the Adapt Dx®, As the disease progresses, symptoms may include distortion of straight lines or dark and blurry central vision.
The primary risk factors for AMD include:
- Age 50 or older
- Family history of AMD
- Caucasian (white)
- Smoker or past smaoker
- Heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol
Age is the biggest risk factor. In fact, 1 in 8 adults over the age of 60 have age-related macular degeneration (AMD). If you are experiencing a symptom of AMD or have multiple risk factors, let us know and we may test your eyes with the AdaptDx.
What Happens if AMD is Detected?
If you are diagnosed with AMD, we have valuable time to develop a plan to delay further symptoms. Proactive steps to delay or prevent vision loss:
- Lifestyle changes, such as improved diet and exercise and smoking cessation.
- Eye health supplements
- Blue light protection
- UVA and UVB protection
We will also want to monitor your vision regularly. It is very important to follow up with testing as indicated, so we may promptly intervene should complications occur. If needed, you’ll be able to begin additional treatment as soon as late-stage AMD is detected.