Age-related Macular Degeneration (Dry)


The diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration usually involves assessment of one’s symptoms, evaluation of medical and family history, conduct of a comprehensive eye examination, and several tests.

Tests that may be required include:

  • Examination of the back of the eye: In this test, the healthcare provider searches for drusen, or yellow deposits that grow behind the retina and give the impression of mottling. Macular degeneration patients frequently have a large number of drusen. A specialized instrument is used to inspect the rear part of the eye after putting drops in the eyes to dilate them.
  • Amsler grid: This is a tool utilized during an eye examination to assess changes in the central vision. If an individual has macular degeneration, they may observe fading, breakage, or distortion in some of the straight lines within the grid.
  • Fluorescein angiography: Wet macular degeneration is indicated by changes in blood vessels or the retina, which can be seen in the photographs produced in this test. In the procedure, a dye is injected into a vein in the arm. The eye’s blood vessels are highlighted by the dye as it gets inside. Multiple images are captured by a specialized camera while the dye passes through the blood vessels.
  • Optical coherence tomography: This test shows potential areas of retinal thickness, thinning, or edema. Fluid accumulation from leaking blood vessels in and under the retina may be the source of these. The detailed cross-sectional images of the retina are displayed by this noninvasive imaging examination.
  • Indocyanine green angiography: This test can be used to distinguish between different kinds of macular degeneration in conjunction with a fluorescein angiography.


Numerous clinical trials are currently underway in the quest to discover treatments for dry macular degeneration. While it is important to note that the damage caused by this condition cannot be reversed, early detection and the adoption of certain strategies can potentially help mitigate its progression.

Strategic options for dry macular degeneration include:

  • Vitamin supplements: The formulation, known to be potentially beneficial in reducing the risk of vision loss, based on research from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), includes specific amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and copper.
    Although this supplementation has not demonstrated the same benefits for people in the early stages of dry macular degeneration, a high-dose combination of these antioxidant vitamins and minerals may be beneficial for individuals with intermediate or advanced macular degeneration.
  • Low vision rehabilitation: Receiving therapy from healthcare specialists and other low vision rehabilitation-trained professionals may be beneficial in figuring out how to adjust to the shifting vision.
    Age-related macular degeneration typically does not result in total blindness and does not impair side vision. However, it may lessen or completely erase the central vision. Reading, driving, and recognizing faces all require central vision.
  • Telescopic lens implantation surgery: The telescopic lens has lenses that enlarge the field of vision. It resembles a small plastic tube. Although the telescopic lens implant has a relatively limited field of vision, it may help with both close-up and distance vision.
    Implantation of a telescopic lens in one eye may be a viable alternative for improving vision for certain individuals with advanced dry macular degeneration in both eyes. It might be especially helpful in an urban setting to help recognize street signs.