The macula is located at the back of the eye at the centre of the retina. It enables us to see fine detail and objects directly in front of us. It also helps us to recognize faces and see colours. Dry AMD is the most common form of the condition, with cells in the retina failing to function properly as a person gets older. Tiny abnormal deposits, called drusen, are deposited under the retina, making it uneven. In time, retinal cells can degenerate and die causing sight loss. This occurs very gradually over many years, hence the term 'age-related'.
Wet AMD accounts for 10 - 15% of cases. It often develops quickly and is also known as 'neovascular AMD' because it involves the growth of new blood vessels behind the retina. These new blood vessels are very fragile and so may leak fluid or blood, resulting in scarring that causes rapid visual loss. If you notice any change in your sight, we advise that you see your optician as soon as possible.