Dry macular degeneration


Dry macular degeneration is one of the two forms of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that commonly affects individuals aged 50 and above. It results in a blurry vision or a decline in central vision due to the deterioration of the inner layers of the macula, a part of the retina. The macula plays a crucial role in providing clear vision in the direct line of sight.

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 total 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:

  • Visual distortions, like the appearance of bent straight lines
  • Decreasedcentral vision in one or both eyes
  • 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
  • Presence of a well-definedblurry spot or blind spot within the field of vision
  • Increased 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.


The macula is the region of the retina responsible for maintaining clear vision in the direct line of sight. Over time, the macular tissue may undergo thinning and the loss of cells essential for 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 likelihood of developing macular degeneration is higher among active smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • Being obese: Being 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.
  • Underlying cardiovascular issues: An increased risk of developing macular degeneration is possible in individuals with conditions impacting their heart and blood vessels.