Macular Degeneration Symptoms

Macular Degeneration Symptoms

Posted under Eye Conditions

Macular Degeneration Symptoms

Macular degeneration symptoms are manifested in different ways depending on what type of macular degeneration a person has and if this retinal disease is in one eye or both eyes.

In the early stages of age related macular degeneration (AMD) a person may not notice any symptoms or the eye symptoms that they do have, such as needing more light, may be attributed to the normal aging process. Another factor that may mask symptoms is when only one eye is affected. The good eye compensates for the affected eye and vision changes are then less noticeable.

Macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss in the senior population. Being aware of the common signs and symptoms may help you get diagnosed earlier or perhaps lead to a better understanding of the type of vision loss your loved one or friend is experiencing.

Some of the signs of macular degeneration are:

1. Difficulty reading in low light
The person finds that reading with a normal light is difficult, but with a well placed swing arm lamp that offers task lighting their vision is improved.

2. Difficulty driving at night
The person may have a hard time seeing a black car or person dressed in dark colors at night. Headlights from
oncoming cars produce a bright glare or halo that makes it more difficult to see and drive.

3. Difficulty determining shades of colors
The person has a hard time distinguishing light gray from dark gray or a dark blue pair of pants from their black pants.

4. Difficulty focusing or experiencing blurred vision
The words in a book or magazine are not as sharp and clear. Watching TV or a movie, one finds that the picture is
not as clear or crisp.

5. Difficulty recognizing faces
A smudge or dark spot appears in the middle of one’s vision. The macula is a tiny spot in the middle of the retina that is responsible for the middle of our vision. This is where the photoreceptor cells are dying, hence the name macular degeneration.

6. Increased sensitivity to glare
The person is more sensitive to glare when in the sunshine or from fluorescent lighting.

7. Colors are less vivid
Colors appear somewhat faded. Reds are not as red and blues are not as blue.

8. Straight Lines appear wavy
A fence or telephone pole looks crooked or bent rather than straight.

As you can tell macular degeneration affects one’s vision in many different ways. It does not result in blindness but rather a loss of vision – especially the middle of one’s vision. Peripheral vision is not affected. Getting regular eye exams is important. The eye doctor may notice early signs of changes in your retina before a person may notice any of the above symptoms.

To learn more about the cause of macular degeneration go to:

Cause of Macular Degeneration

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

Leslie Degner is a registered nurse with over 20 years or RN experience. Her father-in-law and several of his siblings have wet macular degeneration. As a daughter-in-law to someone who is struggling with AMD and a wife to someone with an extensive family history, her goal is to help others learn more about macular degeneration prevention, treatment, research and resources.