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What Is The Difference Between Dry and Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Updated: Mar 5

“Dry” Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Dry AMD is experienced by approximately 90% of people who have AMD. Dry AMD is a condition in which the layers of the macula progressively get thinner, which is called atrophy. During the early stage of dry AMD, the color or pigment of the macula changes. Small drusen, which are piles of waste products of the cells of the retinal photoreceptors, appear underneath the retina. Drusen can lead to the deterioration and atrophy of the retina.

Dry AMD is also known as non-neovascular or non-exudative AMD, because it does not involve exuding or leaking of fluids from blood vessels. “Late dry” AMD is known as geographic atrophy (GA) due to well-demarcated thinning of the central retina and loss of function.

“Wet” Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Typically, dry AMD first develops, and then may progress to wet AMD. Approximately 10% of all cases of “Dry” AMD become “Wet” AMD.

Dr. Banik has identified wet AMD as a type of leaky eye syndrome. If you are familiar with the conditions known as “leaky gut”, “leaky brain”, or leaky heart”, “leaky eye” is a similar type of syndrome. In leaky eye syndrome, the normal blood-retinal barrier is broken down, leading to an inflammatory state, disruption of normal tissues, and ultimately loss of visual function.

“Leaky eye” syndrome occurs when the new blood vessels grow in the choroid layer behind the retina. These new vessels are weak, and leak lipids, protein, fluid, and blood. The leaking seeps into the retina layers including the macula layers, which can cause scar tissue to form and the cells of the retina to stop working.

To learn more about macular degeneration and prevention of vision loss, click HERE.

Adapted from

Whether the practice of Rudrani Banik, MD is the first ophthalmology office you are visiting for eye treatment, or simply the last one, Dr. Banik will make sure she does everything in her power to find an effective treatment to help you see better.

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