Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration

Overview of mild, moderate and severe dry AMD including drusen and geographic atrophy.

What are Drusen?

The hallmark of dry AMD is macular drusen (see photo). Drusen are made up of lipids, a type of fatty protein. They may be the result of a failure of the eye to dispose of waste products that are produced when the photoreceptors of the eye drop off older parts of the cell. There are several types of drusen with different levels of risk. Drusen can be small, hard and scattered far apart from each other. They are round and distinct. This type may not create vision problems for a long time and may not even be an indication of macular degeneration. Some drusen can become larger, softer and closer together. Their edges are less distinct. When they get to that stage, there is a greater risk for developing wet macular degeneration and more severe vision loss. They can also disrupt the layers of the retina and may lead to retinal pigment epithelium detachment (PED). Your doctor can see these drusen during a dilated eye exam, even if you are not aware of a vision change. That is one reason why regular eye exams are so important. If you have the larger, soft drusen, your doctor will probably want you to come into the office for check-ups more often. If they do lead to wet macular degeneration, early treatment is essential.

What is Geographic Atrophy?

Geographic atrophy occurs when the photoreceptors (seeing part of the retina) no longer works and the patient develops a blind spot or spot of poor vision in the macula (see photo). Geographic atrophy (GA) is considered the late stage of the dry form of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). It only occurs in about 10 percent of dry AMD patients. GA is usually a sharply delineated round or oval area of hypopigmentation, or apparent absence of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), in which choroidal vessels are more visible than in surrounding areas The most common sequence of events leading to GA is the progression of a large drusen to hyperpigmentation, followed by regression of the drusen, hypopigmentation and ultimately RPE cell death, with development of an atrophic area of retina and underlying choriocapillaris, sometimes preceded by the appearance of refractile deposits. This usually takes more than 5 years. Less frequently, GA can follow a drusenoid RPE detachment, regression of a CNV membrane or a RPE rupture. As other forms of late AMD, GA tends to be bilateral (over 50% of cases) and there is high symmetry between eyes for total atrophic area, presence of peripapillary atrophy and enlargement rate. GA often first develops surrounding the fovea, sparing the central area.

What is Progressive Geographic Atrophy?

Geographic atrophy can progress and lead to vision loss. When people with dry AMD lose vision, it is almost always from geographic atrophy. The animated image with this text shows growing geographic atrophy over 3 years in an 86 year old patient. This person is fortunate to have good vision because the dark areas of geographic atrophy are not yet affecting the central vision. Given the progression, the central vision will likely be affected within about 10 years. The images are fundus autofluorescent images that are useful for following geographic atrophy because the atrophy shows up as well delineated dark spots.

What is Pattern Dystrophy?

Pattern dystrophy is a type of dry age-related macular degeneration that involves mostly the very center of the macula. There are several types of pattern dystrophy. The image with this text is of a patient with adult vitelliform macular dystrophy. The image shows the buildup of abnormal deposits under the retina in the center of the macula. Unlike typical dry macular degeneration where the buildup of material is below the retinal pigment epithelium, in pattern dystrophy, the buildup of material is above the pigment epithelium and directly beneath the retina (see asterisks on image). Pattern dysrophy is autosomal dominant, usually presents at a younger age than typical dry AMD, and usually does not progress to wet AMD.

Pattern Dystrophy

What about Diet?

Patients who consume fruits and vegetables have the lowest rates of macular degeneration development. Lutein, a carotenoid pigment found exclusively in fruit and vegetables, serves as the primary protector of the eye. Lutein accumulates in the macula and likely blocks the damage caused by sunlight, one proposed cause of AMD. Fruits and vegetables are also high in antioxidant vitamins such as Beta- carotene, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C. Green leafy vegetables and other colorful foods like kiwi, squash, red grapes, and corn are good sources of Lutein. Other dietary habits have been shown to increase the risk of AMD. Individuals with a higher percentage of vegetable, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats in their diet have higher rates of Wet AMD development. Diets rich in Omega 3 fatty acids reduce the risk of vision loss. These are found naturally in cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna, and in flaxseeds and flaxseed oil. Two servings of fish per week are adequate.

What about Vitamins?

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 showed that among people at high risk for developing late-stage, or wet, macular degeneration (such as those who have large amounts of drusen or who have significant vision loss in at least one eye), taking a dietary supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin, along with zinc, lowered the risk of macular degeneration progressing to advanced stages by at least 25 percent. The supplements did not appear to provide a benefit for people with minimal macular degeneration or people without evidence of the disease during the course of the study. These vitamins contain a mixture of Vitamins C and E, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Zing and Copper. Another large study in women showed a benefit from taking folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12. It is very important to remember that vitamin supplements are not a cure for macular degeneration, nor will they give you back vision that you may have already lost from the disease. However, these supplements do play a key role in helping some people at high risk for developing advanced (wet) AMD to maintain their vision, or slow down the progression of the disease.

What about Amsler Grid?

One of the first signs of macular degeneration can be wavy, broken or distorted lines OR a blurred or missing area of vision. The Amsler Grid can help you spot these early. Early detection of wet AMD is critical because laser treatment, when indicated, is most successful when performed before damage occurs. Since dry AMD can lead to development of wet AMD, most patients should use the Amsler Grid. Check with your eye doctor to find out how often you should use this test. Wear your reading glasses, if you normally use them and sit about 14 inches away from the screen. Check one eye at a time. Cover the eye you are not testing. Focus on the dark dot in the center of the grid. While looking at this dot, you still should be aware of the lines of the grid. Notice if any of the lines are distorted or broken or if there are blurred areas.

Download Amsler Grid

Dry Macular Degeneration NEWS

Below are current articles from a Google News Feed on Dry Macular Degeneration

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Business Wire (press release)

Clinical Trial in Dry-AMD With the Opening of Two Additional US Sites
Business Wire (press release)
OpRegen®, which is being studied for the treatment of the dry form of AMD, consists of a suspension of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells that are delivered subretinally during a simple intraocular injection. RPE cells are essential components of ...


INFORUM

Macular degeneration treatments can help maintain quality of life
INFORUM
Recently, he developed the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and needs to get regular injections in his eyes to slow the leaking of the blood vessels. Dad tolerates the treatment well, so I've been taking him to the clinic for this ...

and more »

News-Medical.net

What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
News-Medical.net
Dry AMD is not treated with injections, but instead sometimes treated with supplements to slow its progression. Vision aids (for instance magnifying lenses and computer and mobile apps to increase usability) are suggested to reduce the effects of AMD ...
Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration Market Comprehensive Research till 2021Pharmaceuticals News

all 3 news articles »

Medical News Bulletin

Can stem cells help treat age-related macular degeneration?
Medical News Bulletin
A group of doctors in the United Kingdom recently conducted a phase I clinical trial where they surgically implanted replacement cells, derived from human stem cells, in the eyes of two patients suffering from “wet” macular degeneration. This is the ...
Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Market Research Report 2018Exclusive Reportage
Age-related Macular Degeneration Market: Trends and Opportunities for the Industry by 2023Healthcare Journal

all 6 news articles »

Futurity: Research News

Implanting stem cell 'patch' can restore vision
Futurity: Research News
“This study represents real progress in regenerative medicine and opens the door on new treatment options for people with age-related macular degeneration,” says coauthor Peter Coffey, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara's ...

and more »

BIOPHYTIS: Inclusion of the First Patient in Phase 2b Study in Sarcopenia
Nasdaq
Stanislas Veillet, CEO of BIOPHYTIS, said: "The entry of the first patient into SARA-INT marks a major potential breakthrough for patients suffering from sarcopenia, a common age-related degenerative disease where there is still no available treatment ...


Healio

Stem cell-based retinal implant shows promising results for advanced dry AMD
Healio
A first-of-its-kind stem cell-based retinal implant for patients with advanced dry age-related macular degeneration was well-tolerated and showed promising early efficacy in a phase 1/2a study. Researchers evaluated the use of human embryonic stem ...


KIIITV.com

Dr. Is In: Macular Degeneration
KIIITV.com
... this condition but it is currently incurable. If you have more questions, ask your physician. https://www.macular.org/what-macular-degeneration · https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-macular-degeneration/symptoms-causes/syc-20350375.
Age-related Macular Degeneration Market Forecast by End-use Industry 2017 – 2025MilTech

all 5 news articles »

Longevity LIVE

Macular Degeneration: 5 Foods That Fight It
Longevity LIVE
“Wet macular degeneration is more devastating than its dry counterpart, as it consists of leaking blood vessels at the back of the eye. However, there is also more that we can do to assist. We most commonly use Avastin in injection form to treat this ...


Anti Aging News

Macular Degeneration
Anti Aging News
There are two forms of age related macular degeneration: wet neovascular age related macular degeneration, and dry atrophy age related macular degeneration. Wet progresses rapidly over a few weeks to months. Dry progresses more slowly over a number ...

and more »

User-generated content (press release)

Healthy Vision Month: Women more likely to suffer from sight-threatening disease; here are some tips
User-generated content (press release)
Women are more likely than men to suffer from sight-threatening conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and glaucoma.1 In support of Healthy Vision Month in May, the Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons and the ...

and more »

LumiThera Presents LIGHTSITE I Dry AMD Top Line Final Data
PR Newswire (press release)
"LumiThera PBM treatment demonstrated reductions in central drusen volume over the course of the one-year study versus the sham treatment with statistical significance at one year, (p = 0.05). Drusen is the hallmark pathology of dry AMD and is an ...

and more »

Healio

FDA seeks permanent injunctions against two stem cell clinics
Healio
One patient, a 72-year-old woman with a history of dry age-related macular degeneration, presented to Bascom Palmer 3 days after the procedure with decreased vision, pain, vomiting and nausea. On presentation, her visual acuity was only hand motion ...


Sylentis Presented New Results for the Treatment of Age Associated Macular Degeneration
PR Newswire (press release)
As Ana Isabel Jiménez, Director of R&D at Sylentis, said, "macular degeneration is the primary cause of loss of vision in people over 50 years of age[ii]. The current treatments involve intravitreal infections, so at Sylentis we are trying to develop ...


Daily Globe

Treatments can help maintain quality of life
Daily Globe
Recently, he developed the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and needs to get regular injections in his eyes to slow the leaking of the blood vessels. Dad tolerates the treatment well, so I've been taking him to the clinic for this ...


Sylentis presents new results on its ophthalmological compounds at ARVO 2018
EurekAlert (press release)
Sylentis, Pharmaceutical Company belonging to PharmaMar Group will present new results on three ophthalmological compounds for the treatment of dry eye syndrome, macular degeneration associated to age, administered topically, and also for the ...

and more »

Med News Ledger

Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration Pipeline Clinical Reviews 2018
Med News Ledger
Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration – Pipeline Insights, 2018 and Therapeutics Development provides comprehensive information on the therapeutics under development for Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration, complete with analysis by stage of ...


News-Medical.net

PanOptica doses first patient in Phase 1/2 dose-ranging clinical trial of PAN-90806
News-Medical.net
"This Phase 1/2 trial builds on research completed to date and advances PAN-90806 as a potentially safe and effective topical eye drop treatment for back-of-the-eye diseases such as wet AMD and diabetic retinopathy," said Paul G. Chaney, President and ...


Eye & Vision Care Golf Tourney Takes Aim at Blindness
Noozhawk
"The California Project to Cure Blindness at UCSB is an exciting new program in stem cell research aimed at developing ground breaking cellular therapies for the treatment of macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa ...


New Novartis Phase III data for brolucizumab demonstrate reliability of 12-week treatment interval
GlobeNewswire (press release)
Basel, April 30, 2018 - Novartis announced new positive brolucizumab (RTH258) data in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) from a pre-specified secondary analysis of the Phase III HAWK and HARRIER trials. The findings showed that ...

and more »

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment Technology Market Share and Growth Factors Impact Analysis 2017 ...
Digital Journal
This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire. Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/27/2018 -- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a health issue associated with the retina. According to the National Medical Research Council (Singapore), ...

and more »

Isle of Man Today

Boost to eye health services
Isle of Man Today
There has been a large reduction in the number of patients who have to travel to Liverpool for treatment. 'By any measure the local service for people with age-related macular degeneration has been a success,' he said. Age-related macular degeneration ...


Business Wire (press release)

Ophthotech Completes Patient Recruitment in the Phase 2a Clinical Trial of Zimura
Business Wire (press release)
Zimura is also currently being investigated as monotherapy in a Phase 2b clinical trial for patients with geographic atrophy secondary to dry AMD and in a Phase 2b clinical trial in patients with autosomal recessive Stargardt disease (STGD1). Further ...

and more »

Technical Progress

Global Ocular Drug Delivery Market Report, Trends, Size, Share, Analysis, Estimations and Forecasts to 2022
Digital Journal
Based on disease type, the market is further segmented into glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, dry eye syndrome, macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic macular edema, and others. Based on end-users, the market is further classified into hospitals, ...
Ocular Drug Delivery Market: End user and region during 2018 to 2025Healthcare Journal

all 344 news articles »

Business Wire (press release)

Ophthotech Reports First Quarter 2018 Financial and Operating Results
Business Wire (press release)
“We continue to build on our Zimura program with on-going clinical trials in wet age related macular degeneration (AMD) with patient recruitment completed and topline data expected by the end of 2018, in geographic atrophy secondary to dry AMD where ...


See things clearer with these helpful food tips for your eyes
Atmore Advance
These orange tubers are a good source of beta carotene, which may slow progress of macular degeneration. Your body converts beta carotene to vitamin A, a nutrient that helps prevent dry eyes and night blindness. Beta carotene and vitamin A also help ...


Nasdaq

Ophthotech's (OPHT) Q1 Loss Narrows Y/Y, Zimura in Focus
Nasdaq
The company is developing Zimura in dry and wet AMD, Stargardt disease and idiopathic choroidal vasculopathy ("IPCV"). In April 2018, the company announced the completion of enrollment of patients in a phase IIa study evaluating Zimura in combination ...


LEH Pharma announces appointment of Chairman
GlobeNewswire (press release)
Through ground-breaking technology and widely accepted techniques, the latest of these products, EyeMax, is transforming the lives of patients with dry and stable wet AMD, which I am pleased to attest to personally. I look forward to the continued ...


Washington Post

From oatmeal to sardines, 7 foods that really can help hearts stay healthy
Washington Post
“In fact, heart disease is largely preventable,” says Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Eating a healthy diet, ... And a 2012 study of 160 postmenopausal women found that those ...


Ibnservice

Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) Drugs Market Valuation by 2021
Digital Journal
Moreover, the market can also be segmented on the basis of stage and type of AMD, such as early AMD, late AMD, dry AMD and wet AMD. Similarly, the market of diabetic retinopathy is also segmented on the basis of available and under pipeline products, ...
Global Age-related Macular Degeneration Market 2018-2025 Industry Manufacturer Gilead Sciences, Allergan, NovartisIbnservice

all 4 news articles »
» Load more

What about Resources?

Dr. Pautler's Blog
American Academy of Ophthalmology
MedlinePlus
National Institutes of Health
  • ARMD
    NIH's SeniorHealth website covers the topic of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
National Eye Institute
American Foundation for the Blind - Senior Site
  • Macular Degeneration
    Basic information about AMD and low vision; includes a self-test using an Amsler Grid
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
WebMD
LightHouse International
  • Macular Degeneration
    Provides a general overview of the basics of AMD, and a simulation showing a scene as it might be viewed by a person with AMD
Prevent Blindness America