Age-related Macular Degeneration (Dry)


Dry macular degeneration is one of the two common forms of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that affects individuals aged 50 and above. It results in a decline in central vision clarity due to the deterioration of the inner layers of the macula, a critical part of the retina. It’s important to note that having this condition does not necessarily lead to complete vision loss.

People with dry macular degeneration typically retain their peripheral vision while experiencing varying degrees of central vision loss, which can range from mild to severe. Over time, there is a possibility of worsening vision, impacting activities such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces.

Dry macular degeneration can initially affect one eye before progressing to the other, or it may develop simultaneously in both eyes. Early detection and the adoption of self-care measures can potentially slow down the progression of vision loss associated with this condition.


Dry macular degeneration has the potential to advance into wet macular degeneration, characterized by the growth and leakage of blood vessels beneath the retina. While the dry variant is more prevalent, its progression typically occurs gradually over an extended period.

Since this condition does not impact peripheral vision, it does not result in complete blindness. When only one eye is affected, changes in vision might go unnoticed, as the unaffected eye can compensate for the impacted one. Symptoms may occur slowly. This include:

  • Having more trouble adjusting to low light conditions, like in the case of entering a poorly lit room
  • Needing to use more light when reading or conducting close-up work
  • Visual distortions, like the appearance of bent straight lines
  • Presence of a distinct blurry spot or blind spot within the field of vision
  • Diminished clarity in the central vision of one eye or both eyes.
  • Augmented blurriness when reading printed words.
  • Challenges in recognizing faces

If alterations in the central vision, such as distortion or blind spots, or experience a decline in the ability to perceive fine details, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis or treatment. Regular eye checkups is also beneficial in early detection of any vision changes.


Dry macular degeneration specifically affects the macula, a critical area of the retina responsible for sharp central vision. Over time, the macular tissue tends to thin out, resulting in the loss of essential cells needed for maintaining clear and focused vision.

This condition is closely linked to the aging process of the eye. Ongoing research indicates that a combination of genetic factors within families and environmental factors like smoking, obesity, and dietary choices may play a role in its development. However, the exact cause of dry macular degeneration remains unidentified.

Risk factors

Individuals 60 years old and above, as well as those in the white population or racial groups has a higher prevalence of macular degeneration. Other risk factors include:

  • Family history and genetics: Researchers have determined a number of specific genes that are associated with the occurrence of this condition. Individuals with a family history of macular degeneration are at a higher risk of having one.
  • Smoking: The risk of macular degeneration is significantly increased when one consume cigarettes or are frequently around cigarette smoke.
  • Being overweight: Being overweight or obese, according to studies, may elevate the risk of the more severe form of macular degeneration developing from the early or intermediate stages of the disease.
  • Cardiovascular illness: One could be more susceptible to macular degeneration if they have blood vessel or cardiac conditions.