Wet AMD – What is it ?
Wet AMD is a term used to describe a aggressive form of macular degeneration. Wet AMD is different to dry AMD in that abnormal blood vessels start to grow underneath the macula. These abnormal blood vessels can lead to the following changes in the macula:
- Swelling of retinal tissue
- Bleeding inside , underneath and on top of the retina
- Bruising of the retina
- Scarring underneath or on top of the retina
The end result of these changes is a potentially rapid decline in eyesight often accompanied with distortion as shown below.
Common symptoms of wet AMD are :
- Sudden decline in eyesight
- Sudden appearance of dark ‘splodge’.
Patients suspected of having wet AMD will undergo a detailed macular eye examination and will also require an optical coherence tomography scan. In many cases a fluorescein angiogram will also be required. Typical appearances of wet AMD are shown below with corresponding changes at the microscopic level.
Optical scans called OCT scans demonstrate the swelling element of wet AMD very effectively and have become indispensable in both diagnosis and monitoring of wet AMD.
The final confirmation of wet AMD often rests with a special dye angiogram – using a fluorescein dye to highlight th blood vessel abnormalities. The precise classification of different types of wet AMD is beyond the scope of this website but at Bettersight we always attempt to classify each individual case of wet AMD as much as possible in order to help guide more targeted treatments.