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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The Guardian

How to spot age-related macular degeneration | Life and style | The ...
The Guardian
Every day in the UK, nearly 200 people develop a condition that can lead to visual impairment or even blindness. How do you identify the symptoms and what's ...
Global Age-related Macular Degeneration Market Research Report 2018: Market status (2013-2017) and Foresight ...managementjournal24.com
Global Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Market 2018 Research In-Depth Analysis, Key Players, Applications ...News Australia Today

all 7 news articles »

LumiThera LT-300 Device For Treating Dry Advanced Macular Degeneration Granted CE Mark
PR Newswire (press release)
"It is very exciting to see the development of PBM treatment for dry AMD patients," stated Samuel Markowitz, M.D., Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto. "These patients have limited options and losing their central ...

and more »

Global Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Other Retinal Diseases Drugs Industry and Market 2018-2028
PR Newswire (press release)
Global Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Other Retinal Diseases Drugs Industry and Market 2018-2028: Wet AMD, Dry AMD, Diabetic Retinopathy, Lucentis, Eylea, Avastin, Visudyne – our new study reveals trends, R&D progress, and predicted revenues.

and more »

Window into independence: Senior eye care and protection
The Laconia Daily Sun
However, as we age, it becomes imperative that we safeguard our vision before problems — like cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy — arise. While the ... The earlier something is detected, the faster treatment can begin.

Pixium Vision completes implantation of PRIMA in five patients with atrophic dry-AMD as expected for the feasibility ...
GlobeNewswire (press release)
The four successful activations of PRIMA to-date, with realization of light perception from the atrophic central macular zone of these dry-AMD patients, where no prior visual sensitivity had remained, provides feasibility evidence and strengthens ...

and more »

AOA disagrees with Ky. governor's proposed Medicaid cuts
“Through an in-person, comprehensive examination, doctors of optometry assure precise and healthy vision, identify and treat diseases such as dry eye, macular degeneration and glaucoma as well as ensure early diagnosis of immediate threats to overall ...

Ophthalmology week in review
In phase 1 study, ICON-1 intravitreal injections safe in eyes with neovascular AMD. Intravitreal injections of ICON-1 in eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration were found to be safe and well-tolerated in doses up to 300 µg. Read more.

Susquehanna International Group Llp Increased Its Encana (ECA ...
Hillary HQ (press release)
Susquehanna International Group Llp increased Encana Corp (ECA) stake by 64.5% reported in 2018Q1 SEC filing. Susquehanna International Group Llp ...

and more »

The Desert Sun

Ex-NHL team owner and felon Peter Pocklington is trying to raise $12.5M to grow marijuana in the valley
The Desert Sun
The SEC sued Pocklington and related entities on April 5, alleging the group defrauded investors while raising money for Nova Oculus Partners LLC, an Indian Wells-based medical device startup developing a treatment for macular degeneration. Pocklington ...

LumiThera LT-300 granted CE mark for treating dry AMD
The European Union has granted a CE mark for the LT-300 light delivery system, a treatment device for dry age-related macular degeneration, LumiThera announced in a press release. “The CE mark allows LumiThera to begin commercialization throughout ...


New Report inspects Age-Related Macular Degeneration Market Trends, Drivers, Strategies, Segmentation Application ...
The Global Age-Related Macular Degeneration Market was valued at USD XX billion in 2018 and is expected to register a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period (2018 – 2023). The report studies the market scenario and its growth prospects during the ...
Age-related Macular Degeneration Market Overview, Growth Opportunities, Trends, Cost Structure Analysis and ...thehonestanalytics.com

all 9 news articles »

Healthcare Sector

Oranges really are the only fruit: Eating just ONE a day reduces people's risk of blindness by 60% due to the citrus ...
Daily Mail
When implanted at the back of the eye of people suffering from dry macular degeneration, all experienced improved or stabilised vision, a study found. One woman, aged 69, was even able to read 24 letters on an eye chart after having the device fitted, ...
Global Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Market 2018 – Novartis, Valeant, PfizerHealthcare Sector
New Research Study on Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Market: Key Players involved in the research ...News Australia Today
An orange a day keeps macular degeneration away: 15-year study | The Westmead Institute for Medical ResearchThe Westmead Institute for Medical Research

all 69 news articles »


Good News, Eating Oranges Helps Prevent The Onset of Age-Related Vision Loss
There are two forms of AMD, referred to as wet and dry, that both slowly destroy the eye's light-sensitive retina via different mechanisms. Mild cases of dry AMD are quite common in people more than 50 years old and typically have little impact. More ...

Reproducibility of Macular Thickness Measurements in Eyes Affected by Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration From ...
Macular thickness measurements provided by the Nidek and Cirrus OCT instruments in eyes with dry AMD are highly correlated but show a consistent difference, which may allow the use of a standard correction factor to be applied to better interrelate ...

First Argentinian patient receives EyeMax Mono lens for AMD
The device is delivered during cataract surgery and helps to improve vision in patients with wet or dry AMD, the release said. “It is wonderful to have brought the EyeMax Mono lens into Argentina for the first time. The operation was a success, and ...

The Beverly Review

Lunettes Family Eyecare offers local expertise at optical boutique
The Beverly Review
Treatable conditions such as ocular allergies and dry eye can be detected, and they can have a profound effect on vision. These conditions include cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Other ocular findings may suggest diabetes, glaucoma or ...

Olean Times Herald

Lin BioScience Receives EMA Orphan Drug Status for LBS-008 for the Treatment of Stargardt Disease
San Mateo Daily Journal
LBS-008 is a first-in-class oral therapy that prevents the buildup of toxins in the eye that cause Stargardt Disease and atrophic Age-related Macular Degeneration (dry AMD). The toxins are a by-product the eye's visual cycle, which is dependent on ...
Lin BioScience Receives EMA Orphan Drug Status for LBS-008 for the Treatment of Stargardt DiseasePR Newswire

all 12 news articles »


Complications After Intravitreal Injection Aggravate
Late-breaking studies on new treatment approaches will include the phase 2 LADDER trial of a novel "port delivery system" for ranibizumab in patients with subfoveal neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NCT02510794). The system involves a ...

Medical News Bulletin

Can retinal cells developed from embryonic stem cells improve vision loss?
Medical News Bulletin
Between 10-20% of the adult population in the developed world are affected by a visual impairment known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a progressive disease and currently, there is no treatment for those who have advanced AMD.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Market 2018 – 2023 | Industry Current Status and Prognostication By MRFR
Medgadget (blog)
Macular degeneration is a type of progressive eye disease that causes the loss of central field of vision. In the case of dry age-related macular degeneration, the deterioration of the retina occurs. Furthermore, in case of wet macular degeneration ...

and more »

Susquehanna International Group Llp Has Raised Biotelemetry (Call) (BEAT) Holding; Shorts at Ophthotech (OPHT ...
The Cardinal Weekly (press release)
The Company's principal product candidate, Fovista, an anti-platelet derived growth factor, is in Phase III clinical development for use in combination with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs for the treatment of wet age-related macular ...

Baseball Daily Digest

Analysts See $-0.40 EPS for Ophthotech (OPHT); Cpi Aerostructures Has 2.09 Sentiment
Hillary HQ (press release)
The Company's principal product candidate, Fovista, an anti-platelet derived growth factor, is in Phase III clinical development for use in combination with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs for the treatment of wet age-related macular ...
Atlantic Power (ATP) EPS Estimated At $-0.21; Ophthotech (OPHT) Sentiment Is 1The Cardinal Weekly (press release)
Ophthotech Corporation - OPHT - Stock Price Today - ZacksZacks Investment Research
electroCore, Inc. Announces Additions to Board of Directors in Connection with Recently Completed Initial Public ...Nasdaq

all 9 news articles »


Achillion's 3rd Factor D Inhibitor Enters Clinical Studies
... D. Targeted therapeutic areas include paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), C3 glomerulopathy (C3G), immune complex membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome and dry age-related macular degeneration.

Whole Foods Sources of Vitamin A To Help Support Healthy Vision
One Green Planet
When you become deficient in this vitamin, the cornea becomes very dry, our body's ability to fight infections lessens, and potential damage to both the retina and the cornea can occur. This is because vitamin A in its retinol ... A study called The ...

Incredible News 24

Age Related Macular Degeneration Drug Market 2018 Global Advancements- Valeant, Regeneron, Bayer
Incredible News 24
Global Age Related Macular Degeneration Drug market report serves an in-sight survey of the forecast trends based on the historical and current market situation. A comprehensive analysis of the market standard, geographical regions, market key vendors, ...

and more »


Fight for Sight funds research to develop new drop-based drug for patients with wet AMD
Eye research charity Fight for Sight has today announced funding for a research project that could help see an end to eye injections for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The charity, which has made the announcement at the start ...

and more »

Mitochondrial Disease News

Stealth Raises $100M to Advance Elamipretide as Treatment for Mitochondrial Diseases
Mitochondrial Disease News
With the money raised, Stealth plans to initiate a Phase 2b trial to further assess elamipretide as treatment for intermediate dry age-related macular degeneration. The funds will also support further development of elamipretide's Phase 2/3 clinical ...

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

GRAND OPENINGS: Oasis Eye Care, Optical & Med Spa
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Oasis Eye Care cares for patients with a variety of eye problems, from glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, dry eye disease to macular degeneration, as well as those needing general eye care. McKinney is also a cataract surgeon and offers a range of premium ...

REGENXBIO Inc. (RGNX) Reaches $78.35 After 4.00% Up Move ...
Hillary HQ (press release)
The stock of REGENXBIO Inc. (NASDAQ:RGNX) is a huge mover today! The stock increased 4.33% or $3.2489 during the last trading session, reaching ...

and more »

Baseball Daily Digest

State Street (STT) EPS Estimated At $2.02; NEMUS BIOSCIENCE (NMUS) Shorts Up By 8.2%
Hillary HQ (press release)
The Company's products under research comprise NB2111 for use in treating chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy; and NB2222 for the treatment of uveitis, dry eye syndrome, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. State Street Corporation ...
Banks lead group of expected dividend hikers next weekSeeking Alpha
State Street Corporation - STT - Stock Price Today - ZacksZacks Investment Research

all 30 news articles »
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What about Resources?

Dr. Pautler's Blog
American Academy of Ophthalmology
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)
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