Dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) is the most common form of AMD, accounting for 9 out of 10 cases of AMD.1 Doctors may also refer to dry AMD as nonexudative AMD.
Dry AMD may begin with the buildup of yellowish white deposits under the retina called drusen. Over time, the deposits grow together and harden and may interfere with the normal function of the retina and the support cells (retinal pigment epithelium, or RPE) beneath it. Parts of the macula and the support cells beneath the macula become thinner or break down. The blood vessels in the choroidal layer beneath the macula and retina may also stop working. This process is called atrophy. The breakdown of these eye tissues damages the cells in the macula that provide central vision.
There is no treatment for dry AMD. But it often does not cause enough vision loss to upset a person's regular lifestyle.
Last Revised: July 20, 2011
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.