There are two types of Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD): “Dry” Macular Degeneration and “Wet” Macular Degeneration
Dry Macular Degeneration
Dry Macular Degeneration is the most common type of Age Related Macular Degeneration and accounts for 85-90% of all cases of Macular Degeneration. Dry Macular Degeneration is characterized by Drs. Alterman, Modi or Wolter finding small yellowish deposits, called Drusen, in between the layers of the Retina during your eye examination. Typically, Dry Macular Degeneration will result is a slowly progressive “dimming’ of your central vision. Drusen are quite common and a fair number of patients over the age of 50 have the presence of Drusen. In general, Drusen are not troubling unless they become confluent or large. If Drs. Alterman, Modi or Wolter observe the presence of Drusen it is likely that they will request that you schedule eye exams more often in order to monitor their progression, if any, as there is a chance that Dry Macular Degeneration may progress to Wet Macular Degeneration over time.
Anyone with Dry Macular Degeneration, even without any noticeable change in vision, should be followed carefully as Wet Macular Degeneration has far more serious consequences for vision loss.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Although Wet Macular Degeneration only accounts for about 10-15% of cases of Macular Degeneration its visual consequences are much more serious than Dry Macular Degeneration. Wet Macular Degeneration is characterized by the formation and growth of abnormal blood vessels beneath the Retina. New blood vessels are called “neovascularization” and represent a significant threat to your vision. Neovacularization is comprised of “normal, healthy” blood vessels. These new blood vessels are quite fragile and are prone to be leaky and can easily break and bleed. If leakage occurs, the Macula may actually begin to swell. If the new blood vessels break and bleeding occurs, it can result in scarring as it heals. Scarring of the Macula can cause a sudden, rapid and severe loss of central vision, which is irreversible.
Please contact Seeta Eye Centers at (845) 485-5712 to learn more about macular degeneration in Poughkeespie.