ARMD Dry Form

The dry form of Age-Related Macular Degeneration involves changes in the maculae which also can lead to legal blindness.  The changes include drusen which are small yellowish spots in the maculae representing changes in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) which is the layer of tissue immediately beneath the retina.  In addition to drusen, the pigment of the RPE can clump.  This then can lead to geographic atrophy and irreversible loss of vision.  Generally this is a slower process than the wet form.

The dry form can convert to the wet form; therefore, people with any form of macular degeneration should be aware of changes or distortion in their vision.

Currently the only treatment for the dry form of age related macular degeneration is the use of vitamin and mineral supplements and cessation of smoking.  There are, however, many investigators working on cell based therapies for the dry form of age related macular degeneration.

ARMD Wet Form

The wet form of Age-Related Macular Degeneration means that vessels have grown under or within the retina causing distortion or a change in vision acuity.  This condition can be observed during clinical examination showing some bleeding in the macular area.  The patient can have little or no change in vision and it may only be picked up on clinical examination.

Treatment for Age-Related Macular Degeneration has improved greatly over the last seven years with the advent of anti-VEGF therapy.  It is now common to be able to successfully treat this disease, which in the past led to central legal blindness.  Although not all eyes with Age-Related Macular Degeneration achieve a good outcome, many more eyes than previously are able to retain functional vision.  This does require intense, frequent follow up and often treatment.