Age-related Macular Degeneration is often detected in an eye exam, before the symptoms become noticeable. In early AMD, tiny drusen or waste deposits can be seen on the surface of the retina. The macula itself sometimes shows a change in its color (pigment). In many people, the disease does not progress beyond this condition.
If the disease has progressed further than this initial stage, macular degeneration symptoms can include:
- blurred or fuzzy vision
- the illusion that straight lines, such as the edge of a door or sentences on a page, are wavy
- the illusion that some objects are smaller than they really are
- the appearance of a gray, dark or empty area in the center of the visual field
- sometimes color vision is noticeably paler than usual
Remember that other conditions can cause some of these same symptoms. Meeting with a health-care professional can sort through the causes and determine if you are experiencing macular degeneration symptoms.
If vision changes are occurring in your eye, do not ignore them. Certain forms of macular degeneration can progress very quickly and can respond to treatment if caught in time. If you have a sudden change in vision, call your eye care provider right away and let them know.
Stargardt disease may be detected in children and teenagers who are having trouble with their vision, although it can occur in early adulthood. Like adults with Age-related Macular Degeneration, children with Stargardt disease have trouble with central vision acuity.
See our online Amsler Grid for a quick self-test.