How Fast Does AMD Progress?

How Fast Does AMD Progress?

Posted under Eye Conditions, Eye Health, Low Vision Info

“I just found out that I have dry age related macular degeneration (AMD). My left eye has some blurring in it and I was told to get vitamins and to eat my green veggies. I’m freaking out and worried that I’m going to lose my eyesight. I’m 61 years old. How fast does this retinal disease progress and do vitamins and green veggies really help?”  Perhaps you or someone close to you has asked these same questions and expressed these same feelings. There are so many unanswered questions when one is newly diagnosed and really when it comes to how quickly AMD will progress for you, no one can give you an accurate answer.

What determines how quickly AMD progresses and how long will a person be able to maintain healthy vision depends on several factors.


  1.  What type of AMD do you have?

Dry AMD progresses slower than wet AMD and typically has less vision loss.  The vast majority of those with AMD have the dry type.  However eyes that have dry AMD can turn to wet AMD, which leaves people feeling anxious, wondering if or when their eyes will develop the leaky blood vessels that will interfere with their central vision.


  1. What risk factors do I have?

There are some risk factors you can change and some you can’t.  If you are a smoker, your eyes are constantly fighting free radical and blood vessel damage which prevents oxygen and nutrients from getting delivered to the retina.  Many patients with AMD have inherited genes or blue eyes that contribute to this eye disease.  Food choices greatly impact the health of the macula and those that practice a diet rich in antioxidants and eat anti-inflammatory foods may be able to impact the health of their eyes.


  1.   How Advanced is My AMD

Some people will suddenly notice that a straight pole is bent and crooked and that lines appear wavy.  When they go to see their eye doctor they may find out for the first time that they have an advanced form of macular degeneration.  The earlier the diagnosis the better chance a patient has to respond to treatment.  Yearly eye exams are recommended for those 61 and older by the American Optometric Association.


  1.    Are My Eyes Responding to Treatment for Wet AMD

At this time there is no FDA approved medical treatment for dry AMD, although there are several clinical trials seeking to provide options to stop or slow its progression.  For those with wet AMD, the most common treatment is regular eye injections of anti-VEGF medications.  The three anti-VEGF drugs are Eylea, Lucentis and Avastin.  If someone’s eyes do not or have stopped responding to treatment, a doctor may switch to one of the other anti-VEGF drugs.


Many readers have shared their journey of being diagnosed and living with macular degeneration. To read their stories visit:


Macular Degeneration Progression



Leslie Degner, RN, BSN