Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration

What is Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative eye condition that results in vision loss. AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in Americans aged 65 and older. The condition occurs when abnormal blood vessels start to grow in an area of the eye known as the macula (the area of the retina responsible for sharp central vision). These new blood vessels leak blood and fluid, which can cause blind spots and ultimately lead to vision loss.

Symptoms of Wet AMD

Symptoms of Wet AMD can vary from person to person. Common symptoms of Wet AMD include:

  • Distortions in straight lines (such as wavy or irregular lines or rippling images)
  • Dark or empty centers in visual images
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of central vision
  • Decreased or lost color vision

Risk Factors of Wet AMD

Risk factors of Wet AMD include:

  • Advanced Age: Wet AMD is most common in people over the age of 60.
  • Smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for developing Wet AMD.
  • Family History: Having a family history of Wet AMD increases your risk of developing the condition.
  • Gender: Women are more likely to develop Wet AMD than men.
  • High Blood Pressure: People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop Wet AMD.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Wet AMD

To diagnose Wet AMD, your doctor will first do a comprehensive eye exam to check for any signs of the condition. Your doctor may then do a pupil dilation exam, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) to confirm the diagnosis and assess the extent of the condition.

Treatment for Wet AMD can help slow the progression of the condition and prevent further vision loss. Treatment options include laser surgery, anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) injections and photodynamic therapy.