Dry Macular Degeneration vs. Wet Macular Degeneration

What is the difference between dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration?

When looking at the differences between dry macular degeneration vs. wet macular degeneration it is important to know exactly what macular degeneration is. This visual impairment is caused by the buildup of either deposits known as Drusen or blood vessels. It is these two things that distinguish dry or wet macular degeneration.

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Dry macular degeneration consists of a buildup of yellowish deposits called Drusen. This buildup between the macula and the retina in the eye as a result, it blocks vision within that area. This leads to the central part of the eye being unable to process visual images. It does however leave peripheral vision. It also affects color perception, contrast and light sensitivity. With dry macular degeneration, symptoms may be subtle or slow to appear.  This makes it difficult to detect without medical assistance until the symptoms become severe enough to be noticed such as actual vision loss. Distorted vision also a beginning symptom may be difficult to spot because it is usually only noticeable if looking at a grid of straight lines and having them appear to wave or shift. This makes it difficult to spot as symptom.

Wet macular degeneration involves the growth rather than buildup of blood vessels. This is why it is considered to be wet rather than dry. Bleeding from these vessels is common. While most of the symptoms are going to be the same when it comes to both web and dry macular degeneration, there are a few differences. One of the biggest between the two is the fact that because of the additional issues that can arise such as bleeding with wet macular degeneration it is often common that vision loss occurs rapidly rather than the slow and subtle way that is often does with dry macular degeneration.

Another big difference between the two is the fact that web macular degeneration can be treated with both laser and medication abased treatments. While these treatments are not always effective, they are currently the only treatments known for this particular disease. This is one of the reasons why web macular degeneration actually sticks out as so different from dry macular degeneration despite the fact they are both creating the same problem with vision. Wet macular degeneration can have a fast onset with little or no time between the initial symptoms and extensive vision loss. If bleeding occurs, significant permanent damage can be done to the retina and eye.

While both of these types of macular degeneration create a loss of vision and both have similar symptoms what is behind the actual cause of the loss of vision is the most important when it comes to determining the type and kind of macular degeneration. In many cases, only the speed at which vision loss occurs provides knowledge of the disease to the sufferer. There are a number of subtle signs that can easily be missed because they do not create a great enough impact. These are found mostly with dry macular degeneration since wet often causes rapid vision loss.

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