Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Dry ARMD – Degeneration or age changes to the cells in the macula results in the loss of central vision.
The macula is the part of the retina responsible for the ability to see fine detail. The cells in the macula (cones) are highly specialized and more sensitive than cells in the peripheral retina (rods).
ARMD is usually prevalent in older populations, but can be present in patients 50 or older. As a person continues to grow older, the risk for developing ARMD increases.
People diagnosed with ARMD can lose their central vision, but keep their peripheral vision. Thus, complete blindness is rarely the end result.
Early stages of ARMD are characterized by yellowish excretions called diffuse drusen, which are deposited under the retina and eventually affect the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).
In its early stages, people with dry ARMD experience little to no visual symptoms.
Later stages of dry ARMD evolve when the drusen has caused advanced atrophy to the RPE layer (geographic atrophy of RPE).
Some studies indicate that the presence of diffuse drusen is one cause of ARMD.