Learn about the various stages of age related macular degeneration.
The Stages of Age Related Macular Degeneration
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs in three stages: Early, Intermediate and Late. During the early stage of AMD, the loss of vision is barely noticeable to the individual. The lack of symptoms in this early stage highlights the importance of regular eye exams, especially for those with risk factors of developing AMD. Early AMD can be diagnosed if medium sized yellow deposits, called drusen, are found underneath the retina.
In the intermediate stage of AMD, there may be vision loss; however, some patients still do not have any noticeable symptoms at this point. Eye exams can determine if there are any pigment changes in the retina or larger drusen. In the late stage of AMD, vision loss is noticeable.
At the moment, macular degeneration is considered to be incurable, but there are habits that a person can adopt that may slow down the progression of AMD once a person is diagnosed. This can include stopping smoking, exercising, eating a healthier diet, protecting the eyes from ultraviolet light, and more. The disease is most likely to occur in those who are 55 years of age or older. People of this age should schedule regular eye exams to check for AMD, as well as those who may have macular degeneration risk factors.