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Wet macular degeneration – causes, side effects and treatments at

Thursday, August 02, 2018 by

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) refers to a common eye condition marked by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina.

AMD is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time. Although painless, AMD is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in older adults.

There are two types of AMD: Dry AMD occurs gradually over several years; while wet AMD happens quickly over a few weeks or months. Wet AMD is less common but more aggressive in its progression to severe central vision loss.

Approximately 10-15 percent of AMD cases are the wet type.

In wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and macula. These new blood vessels may leak blood and other fluids, causing the macula to bulge, thus distorting central vision. Under these circumstances, vision loss may be rapid and severe.

With wet AMD, patients may see a dark spot (or spots) in the center of their vision – due to the blood or fluid under the macula – and straight lines may look wavy. Side or peripheral vision, however, is rarely affected.

All wet AMD generally leads to significantly more vision loss than the dry form, whether or not there is major visual decrease at the time of diagnosis.

Known symptoms and risk factors for wet macular degeneration

You may not notice vision problems in the early stages of the condition, but an early symptom of wet AMD is the wavy appearance of straight lines.

People with wet AMD may also experience:

  • A blurry spot in the central field of vision
  • Hazy vision
  • Rapidly worsening symptoms

Wet and dry AMD don’t affect peripheral vision. The disease can prevent you from seeing what’s directly in front of you, but it doesn’t cause total blindness.

Some people develop AMD while others don’t, and while the reason for that is still unclear, here are certain factors that may increase your risk of developing the disease:

  • Being over the age of 65
  • Being Caucasian
  • Being overweight
  • Having a family history of AMD
  • Having cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • Smoking

Body systems harmed by wet macular degeneration

AMD can lead to a number of complications, some of which include:

  • Vision loss: Vision loss can be hard to accept, especially when previously straightforward tasks, such as reading, become difficult. This can lead to feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety.
  • Driving: Having AMD can affect a person’s ability to drive. An AMD patient may have to completely forego driving as a safety precaution.
  • Cardiovascular risk: AMD shares some risk factors with CVD. Studies have suggested that those with CVD are more likely to develop AMD.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent wet macular degeneration

As with a lot of health issues, the right diet is key to reducing your risk of developing AMD.

Here are some diet tips for age-related macular degeneration prevention:

  • Eat plenty of dark green leafy vegetables
  • Eat more fish
  • Eat more fruits and nuts
  • Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates and fats
  • Take multivitamins as advised by your physician

Here is a list of the best foods to include in your AMD prevention diet:

  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Collard greens
  • Grapefruit
  • Green peas
  • Kale
  • Mangoes
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Peanuts
  • Pumpkin
  • Soy milk
  • Spinach
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Swiss chard
  • Tangerines
  • Tomatoes
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole wheat flour

Other foods that may help prevent AMD include:

  • Crabs
  • Lamb
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Trout

These foods will give your eyes the right nutrients they need to maintain healthy vision.

Treatments, management plans for wet macular degeneration

Here are a few steps you can take to support healthy vision:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Manage other health conditions such as diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
  • Exercise and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Use magnifiers when necessary.
  • Use brighter lights in your home.
  • Avoid reading in dim light or inside moving cars.
  • Go for regular eye check-ups.
  • Wear sunglasses especially those that have UV and blue light protection

AMD is a preventable condition as long as you make sure to eat the right foods and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Where to learn more


Wet macular degeneration (or wet AMD) is a progressive eye disease that refers to the deterioration of the central part of the retina. It occurs rapidly over a few weeks or months.

Wet AMD is less common than the dry form, but it’s more aggressive in its progression to significant vision loss.

Wet AMD doesn’t affect peripheral vision, and may not cause complete blindness.

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