Macular Degeneration Symptoms

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in older adults. Learn more about the symptoms and how the condition is detected from the Elmquist Eye Group team.

Macular Degeneration Symptoms

Elmquist Eye Group has served Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Southwest Florida for more than two decades. E. Trevor Elmquist, DO, his partner, Kate Wagner, OD, and his associates Sarah Eccles-Brown, MD and Nina Burt, OD, provide a complete range of services, including comprehensive eye exams and diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, dry eyes and other eye conditions.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that affects the macula, the area near the center of the retina that enables you to see the fine detail that is required for tasks such as reading, driving, and even recognizing faces. There are two forms – wet and dry.

Dry AMD is more common than wet AMD. Nearly 90% of AMD patients are diagnosed with dry AMD. It has no known cause, but research suggests that part of the retina becomes diseased, leading to the slow breakdown of the macular cells and a gradual loss of central vision.

Wet AMD occurs when new blood vessels grow underneath the retina and leak blood and fluid. It is considered an advanced form of the disease, creating blind spots in the central vision and causing permanent damage to light-sensitive retinal cells. Wet AMD usually leads to more serious vision loss.

The basic symptoms of AMD are:

  • Reduced or distorted central vision in one or both eyes
  • Reduced ability to distinguish colors
  • A blind or blurry spot in your field of vision
  • General haziness in your overall vision
  • Loss of depth perception
  • Difficulty recognizing faces

If you are 50 or older and experience changes in your central vision or symptoms like those described above, visit your eye doctor at Elmquist Eye Group.

How We Detect Macular Degeneration

The only way to detect AMD is through a comprehensive dilated eye exam which includes a visual acuity test that measures how well you can see at various distances.

During a dilated eye exam, drops are placed in your eyes to widen, or dilate, the pupils. Then we use a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and optic nerve for signs of AMD and other eye problems.

The tests performed at Elmquist Eye Group are non-invasive and painless. Depending on the findings and severity, we may refer you to a retinal specialist for treatment.

If you think you may have some of the symptoms of macular degeneration, call Elmquist Eye Group as soon as possible at (239) 936-2020 to schedule an appointment. A comprehensive exam can help us detect the early signs of AMD and treat it, if necessary.