Stephen Rose: Hello! My name is Dr. Stephen Rose of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. We're talking about Age-related Macular Degeneration and now I'll explain the symptoms and early warning signs of AMD.
AMD affects the cells in the retina called cones cells which are responsible for central vision and color vision. With this in mind, it should be no surprise that the most common symptoms of Age-related Macular Degeneration are blurring of the central vision and therefore, difficulty in seeing fine details and reading. These changes can often come on gradually, sometimes so gradually that people were dismissive of the changes or don't notice them right away. So pay attention if everyday tasks, like threading a needle or reading a recipe become more challenging. It could be an early indication of AMD.
Patients with AMD may also notice distortions in everyday objects. Objects that are supposed to appear straight like telephone poles or door frames could start appearing wavy, or letters printed on a page could start to look distorted. In more advanced cases of Macular Degeneration, you may see blind spots which resemble a dark or empty area near the center of your vision. Peripheral vision usually remains unaffected.
Another symptom of Age-related Macular Degeneration can be the loss of color vision. One thing to keep in mind, is there is no physical pain associated with AMD. You won't feel a tingling, pain or pressure in your eye. The symptoms are only visual. As with many diseases, the symptoms of Macular Degeneration can vary greatly in severity.
Often, people with Dry AMD, the less severe form of the disease, notice very little to no change in there vision while people with Wet AMD may experience drastic changes in their vision over a very short amount of time and because Macular Degeneration can affect only one eye, the unaffected eye will often compensate for vision loss. It may be sometime before the second eye is affected seriously and for a person to notice any vision problems.
Remember that early detection is paramount in being able to manage and treat AMD. So, if you notice any changes in your vision, whether sudden or gradual, it is important that you consult your doctor immediately.
If you'd like to learn know more, visit www.
org and check out our other videos on AMD including how to diagnose the disease.