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

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Marco News

Ask The Pharmacist: 6 ways to protect your eyesight
Marco News
Today I'll help you learn what might support your health if you have age related macular degeneration (AMD), dry eye syndrome or cataracts. As soon as you notice changes in your eyesight, see an ophthalmologist. I recommend you share eyesight changes ...


Medical News Bulletin

Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Medical News Bulletin
Wet age-related macular degeneration occurs in about 15% of patients. This form of age-related macular degeneration is more severe than the dry form. It results from the development of abnormal new blood cells under the retina. This increased blood ...


BuzEngine (press release)

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) | Global Market 2018 ...
BuzEngine (press release)
The “Global Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Market” 2018 Industry Research Report available on Market.biz provides an in-depth look at the Age ...

and more »

Forbes

Is Blue Light From Your Smart Phone Harmful To Your Eyes?
Forbes
Results of new research from the University of Toledo now point to a specific way in which blue light emitted from electronic devices has the potential to lead to macular degeneration, a major cause of vision loss throughout the U.S. ... Dry Eye ...


NBC 29 News

UVA Doctor States Possible Solution to Stop Macular Degeneration
NBC 29 News
Dry macular degeneration causes a person to go blind over a lengthy period of time. But Dr. Ambati has found potential treatments that may stop the illness in its tracks. "I view it as a testimony to the amazing work that my group has done over the ...


Xconomy

Kodiak Sciences Files for IPO to Fund Global AMD Eye-Drug Studies
Xconomy
Xconomy San Francisco —. Many patients with the more severe form of age-related macular degeneration, a type of vision loss, have trouble with the standard treatment—a once-monthly injection into the eye. Kodiak Sciences believes it can do better ...


BBC News

NHS to save 'hundreds of millions' in landmark drug ruling in ... - BBC
BBC News
A landmark ruling against two leading drug companies could save the NHS in England "hundreds of millions" a year. Novartis and Bayer were trying to stop NHS ...
NHS to save 'hundreds of millions' in landmark drug rulingNews Egypt (press release) (blog)

all 66 news articles »

Rare Disease Report

Rare Pediatric Disease Designation Granted to Stargardt Disease Treatment, LBS-008
Rare Disease Report
"We continue to be encouraged by the regulatory support for LBS-008 and the opportunities provided by the Rare Pediatric Disease designation and the Priority Review Voucher Program," stated Tom Lin, PhD, MBA, MMed, CEO of Lin Bioscience, in a recent ...


Pixium Vision achieves successful activation of its photovoltaic PRIMA implant in all five study patients with Dry ...
Nasdaq
Pixium Vision achieves successful activation of its photovoltaic PRIMA implant in all five study patients with Dry Age-related Macular Degeneration. Paris, France. August 30, 2018 - 7.00 AM CEST - Pixium Vision (FR0011950641 - PIX), a bioelectronics ...


Pixium Vision: presentation of the first clinical results with PRIMA, its wireless implant, in patients with Dry-AMD
Nasdaq
Pixium Vision announces the presentation of the first clinical results with PRIMA, its wireless implant, in patients with atrophic Dry-AMD. EURETINA Annual Conference. Vienna, Austria 20 - 23 September 2018. Paris, France. September 18, 2018 - 7.00 AM ...


FDA Grants Lin BioScience Rare Pediatric Disease Status for LBS-008 to Treat Stargardt Disease
Odessa American
... a drug development company targeting untreatable conditions in oncology, ophthalmology and metabolic diseases, announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Rare Pediatric Disease (RPD) designation to LBS-008, a first ...

and more »

FDA approves devices, drugs and dosing regimens
Healio
In August, the FDA approved devices, drugs and dosing regimens to treat a range of ocular indications, including glaucoma, dry eye, age-related macular degeneration, postoperative pain and inflammation, and neurotrophic keratitis. FDA approves Inveltys ...


Research to Prevent Blindness and Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology Announce 2018 Recipient ...
Newswise (press release)
Newswise — SAN FRANCISCO, CA and NEW YORK, NY, August 28–Jayakrishna Ambati, MD, has been selected as the 2018 RPB David F. Weeks Award for Outstanding AMD Research (Weeks Award). The Weeks Award, funded through the generosity of ...


Jewish Exponent

Macula Vision Research Foundation Donates Remaining Funds to Scheie Eye Institute
Jewish Exponent
There are two forms of age-related macular degeneration — “wet” and “dry.” The former is characterized by the bleeding and leaking of blood vessels that have grown under the retina and macula. The latter is when small yellow deposits, known as drusen, ...


Tullahoma News and Guardian

BioTime Warrants to Expire on October 1, 2018
Tullahoma News and Guardian
BioTime's lead cell replacement product candidate is OpRegen ®, a retinal pigment epithelium transplant therapy, which is in a Phase I/IIa multicenter clinical trial for the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of ...
BioTime, Inc. (BTX) Short Interest UpdateXNewsPress

all 10 news articles »

Read OSN's Aug. 25 publication exclusives online
Healio
Intravitreal anti-VEGF injections for wet or exudative age-related macular degeneration are a truly disruptive, unexpected and amazing advance in our treatment of AMD. In the FDA studies, those patients who received monthly examinations and injections ...


Madison.com

Rev360 streamlines eye care operations
Madison.com
Eye doctors provide ongoing health testing for diabetics, ensure proper diagnosis and treatment of diseases like dry eye, glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, and assess and care for visual anomalies of children and adults ranging from lazy ...


GlobeNewswire (press release)

Global Ophthalmic Drugs Market Expected to Reach USD 34.52 Billion By 2024: Zion Market Research
GlobeNewswire (press release)
Ophthalmic drugs are used in the treatment of cataract, retinopathy, glaucoma, diabetic, and other disorders. Introduction of new approaches to deliver ocular drugs in the market have driven most of the manufacturers in the market to develop more ...
Global Ophthalmic Drugs Market Worth Reach USD 34.52 Billion By 2024MENAFN.COM

all 54 news articles »

LumiThera, Inc. to Debut Valeda Light Delivery System at the 18th Congress of the European Society of Retina ...
PR Newswire (press release)
LumiThera will debut the Valeda™ Light Delivery System for the treatment of dry AMD in the exhibition hall and will host a symposium on PBM technology entitled, "Photobiomodulation: An Innovative, Mitochondria-targeted Therapy for Dry AMD and Other ...

and more »

Healthline

Blue Light from Your Phone May Be Permanently Damaging Your Eyes
Healthline
However, the blue light in particular may be toxic for your eyes. Scientists at the University of Toledo may have discovered how blue light emitted from your technology has a potential to lead to macular degeneration — one of the leading causes of ...

and more »

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Therapeutics Market Poised to Garner Maximum Revenues by 2019
The Global Health News (press release) (blog)
Currently there is no treatment available for common dry AMD, however therapies exist which can retard progression of wet AMD and visual impairment. These therapies include anti-vascular endothelial growth factor vaccines (anti-VEGF or angiogenic ...


Healthline

12 Health Benefits of DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) - Healthline
Healthline
Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is a type of omega-3 fat that may improve many aspects of your health, from your brain to your heart. Here are 12 ...
12 Health Benefits of DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)Infosurhoy

all 2 news articles »

University of Virginia

Accolades: Charlottesville Among Nation's 10 'Best College Towns'
University of Virginia
His work has led directly to promising treatments for slowing dry macular degeneration.” Ambati will receive his award and deliver a presentation on Jan. 25 at the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology's annual meeting in Fort ...


Equities.com

Kodiak Sciences Files $100 Million IPO for Chronic Retinal Diseases
Equities.com
The macula is the central portion of the retina. Those with macular degeneration gradually, inexorably, lose the ability to focus in the central part of their field of vision. 80% to 90% of people with macular degeneration are affected by the dry, or ...


Parade

Eye Doctor 101: 7 Things to Expect on Your Next Visit
Parade
It allows doctors to look for indications of trouble, like a form of cellular debris called drusen that's a sign of dry macular degeneration, the most common form of AMD. It also can help identify the blood vessel changes indicative of wet macular ...


Medical Xpress

Better assessments for early age-related macular degeneration
Medical Xpress
However, they are not sensitive to changes in vision in earlier stages of the disease, thus, hampering the testing of treatment methods to prevent or delay progression of early AMD stages. Therefore, MACUSTAR is developing novel tests to assess earlier ...


thejournal.ie

'I rubbed my eye - and suddenly the words looked muddled and distorted'
thejournal.ie
My consultant ophthalmologist worked out a treatment plan to suit my AMD and I began to have monthly injections into my left eye. At the moment, these injections are working and keeping my AMD at bay and manageable. My consultant stressed the ...


Korea Biomedical Review

Shares of newly listed biotech firms surge
Korea Biomedical Review
The company's major pipelines include treatment for hypertrophic scar (OLX101), a therapy for subretinal fibrosis and age-related macular degeneration (OLX301D), and treatment for dry form macular degeneration and age-related macular degeneration ...


Daily Industry Reports

Global Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Market 2018 – Regeneron, Novartis, Valeant, Pfizer
Daily Industry Reports
Global Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) (Status and Outlook) Market 2018-2025 report delivers a comprehensive research based study of the market along with the market share, forecast data, in-depth analysis, and detailed overview of the Age ...
Key Foresights on How Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) Drugs Market will Evolve During ...LANews By Abhishek Budholiya (press release) (blog)

all 9 news articles »

Business Wire (press release)

Dr. Paul Karpecki Named Lead Optometric Advisor for OcuMedic, Inc.
Business Wire (press release)
His clinical interests include cornea, dry eye, and retinal disease including age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. He serves as a research investigator for numerous studies in these areas. He is the Chief Medical Editor for Review ...

and more »
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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