AMD is generally without symptoms and painless. In dry AMD, the most common symptom is blurry vision. This happens because fewer of the light-sensitive cells of the macula are working properly. In time, the blurriness may develop into a blind spot. You may also notice a loss of contrast and diminished or changed color perception in the center of vision.
The first sign of wet AMD is usually distortion of straight lines, so that they appear wavy. This is usually easiest to see on an Amsler grid, a picture of horizontal and vertical lines that resembles a checkerboard. It occurs because the fluid leaking under the macula lifts it out of its proper position.
Because it can progress very slowly, AMD often goes unrecognized. If you experience any changes in your vision, it's important to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
Last reviewed on 3/23/2010
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