Wet & Dry Types of Macular Degeneration (AMD) in Portland Maine

By Aaron Parnes, M.D.

When patients are diagnosed with age related macular degeneration (AMD) by the Eyecare Medical Group Vitreoretinal Surgeons and Retina Specialists in Portland, they will most likely be identified as having one of two types of age related macular degeneration (AMD):

Dry Macular Degeneration or Wet Macular Degeneration

Dry Macular Degeneration
Dry Macular Degeneration, Dry AMDDry Macular Degeneration, also called Atrophic Macular Degeneration, is the most common type of age related macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration makes up approximately 85-90% of cases of macular degeneration. If you have dry macular degeneration diagnosed during the examination of your retina, your eye doctor will see small, yellow colored deposits between the retinal layers, which are called drusen. Dry Macular Degeneration may result in a slow, gradual progressive “dimming” of your central vision. 

Many people 50 years of age or older begin to display some drusen as they age.  Drusen are not a direct problem for your vision unless they are large or confluent.  If you have drusen, your eye doctor may ask you to schedule eye examinations more frequently in order to monitor them, as there is some possibility that dry macular degeneration will progress to wet macular degeneration over a period of time.  Thus people with dry macular degeneration, even without any noticeable change in vision, need to be followed closely as wet macular degeneration has far more serious consequences for vision loss. 

Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet Macular Degeneration, Wet AMDWet Macular Degeneration is far more likely to cause serious vision loss than dry macular degeneration.  Fortunately, it only accounts for about 10-15% of cases of macular degeneration.  Wet macular degeneration is characterized by an abnormal growth of new blood vessel under the retina.  These new blood vessels are called “neovascularization”.  Neovascularization does not behave like “normal” blood vessels in that the new vessels are unusually weak in their structure.  In fact, they 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.

Macular Degeneration is a complex eye disease. Fortunately with early diagnosis it is possible to have a number of treatment options available to help preserve your vision.

If you, a family member or friend have not had a recent eye examination or if you are over 50 and especially if you have a family member who has macular degeneration, you may be at greater risk for macular degeneration. Please schedule an appointment by calling Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine at 888-374-2020

Eyecare Medical Group provides diagnosis and treatment of age related macular degeneration in Maine and is conveniently located for patients from Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.

Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine is conveniently located for patients with Cataracts interested in
Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants (IOL), LASIK, Diabetic Eye Problems, Macular Degeneration (AMD), Glaucoma,
Diseases and Surgery of the Retina & Cornea including Retinal Detachment & Cornea Transplants.