Signs and Symptoms of Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Wet macular degeneration is a chronic eye disorder that can lead to blurred vision or blind spots. It’s usually caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision. Because wet macular degeneration worsens quickly, it’s important to recognize the early signs and symptoms of the condition. This way, you can access treatment and preserve your vision.

Let’s explore the most common signs and symptoms of wet age-related macular degeneration and when to call your Brooklyn, NY eye specialist.

Who’s at Risk for Wet Macular Degeneration?

No one knows the exact cause of wet macular degeneration, but it always starts with a case of dry macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration is more common and less severe than wet macular degeneration, and about 20 percent of people with the condition go on to develop the wet form.

The risk factors that may increase your risk for macular degeneration are:

  • Being 55 years old or older
  • Family history of macular degeneration
  • Smoking or being exposed to smoke
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having cardiovascular disease

Common Symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration

Typically, wet macular degeneration is caused by abnormal blood vessels or fluid backup in the back of the eye. The signs and symptoms to pay attention to are:

  • Visual distortions, such as straight lines looking curved
  • Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
  • Trouble recognizing faces
  • Blurry or blind spots in your field of vision
  • Increased blurriness of printed words
  • Need for brighter lights when reading
  • Trouble adjusting to low-light conditions

When to Call Your Brooklyn Retinal Disease Specialist

If you notice any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with your retina specialist right away. If it is wet macular degeneration, early intervention can prevent further vision loss. Medications are the first line of treatment. If they do not work, your eye doctor may recommend photodynamic therapy or photocoagulation.

Your eye doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking and managing underlying health conditions. Without treatment, wet macular degeneration will progress and take more of your sight, putting you at risk for central vision loss, social isolation and depression.

To schedule an appointment with the retina doctors from Empire Retina Consultants, contact our Brooklyn office today. We are experienced in treating both dry and wet forms of macular degeneration.