I have dry macular degeneration and, recently, my vision worsened. Could it be wet macular degeneration?

If you've experienced any changes in your vision, see your eye doctor promptly. Wet macular degeneration symptoms usually appear suddenly and worsen rapidly, with increasing vision loss in as quickly as days to weeks. Symptoms may occur in one or both eyes.

The first symptoms of wet macular degeneration are commonly:

  • Visual distortions, such as straight lines seeming bent or curved
  • A well-defined blurry spot or blind spot in your field of vision

Symptoms may also include:

  • Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
  • Abrupt onset and rapid worsening of symptoms

With severe vision loss, some people may experience visual hallucinations (Charles Bonnet syndrome). For example, you might "see" plain or detailed colors, shapes, people, places or objects that aren't really there. This is because even though the brain is no longer receiving visual signals from the eyes, it may try to fill in the blanks. These visual hallucinations usually stop occurring within a year or two.

Macular degeneration doesn't affect side (peripheral) vision, so by itself doesn't cause total blindness. But loss of clear central vision — critical for routine tasks such as reading, driving, preparing food and doing any type of detail work — can greatly affect your life. Treatment may help slow the progression of vision loss, so report any vision changes to your eye doctor as soon as possible. (4)In addition to medical treatment, low vision rehabilitation can help you find ways to use your remaining vision.


Kevin D. Chodnicki, M.D.

Sept. 21, 2023 See more Expert Answers