The degenerative disease slowly deteriorates the macula — needed for sharp vision for straight-ahead objects — to the point that it becomes detrimental to do simple everyday activities, such as seeing faces and cooking.
For some people, the damage may happen so slowly that vision loss does not occur for years. In others, the disease progresses fast, causing quick loss of vision in one or both eyes. Knowing the symptoms to look out for may help you recognize AMD before it causes irreparable damage to your eyes.
One of the first symptoms of AMD is a blurred spots near the center of vision. Blurred spots may grow larger over time, or you may notice blank spots appearing in your central vision. In the early stages, words in a book or newspaper may appear blurry, and you may have trouble seeing faces clearly. Besides blurred vision, you may notice that colors and lights appear duller.
In the early stages of AMD, one common symptom is visual distortion. With visual distortion, straight lines will appear crooked or wavy. For example, if you look at a piece of graph paper, the lines will appear to be distorted. Looking at items like bathroom tiles or any other straight object will help you see if you have visual distortion.
As more rods and cones degenerate in the macula, you may notice a blind spot in the middle of your visual field. Blind spots in your visual field will make some objects disappear or seem invisible. The blind spot may become large over time as the disease progresses.
How is AMD Treated?
Though less common than other treatments, laser surgery is likely to be used when blood vessel growth is limited to a compact area in your eye that is away from the macula and can be easily targeted with a laser. This type of surgery may help prevent severe vision loss in your later years. AMD has few symptoms in the early stages, so it is important to have your eyes examined by a professional regularly. If you believe you have AMD, schedule an appointment with your doctor, and consider getting a consultation from a lasik surgeon in Utah, or the state in which you reside.