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Macular degeneration is a chronic, progressive eye disease that affects the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for allowing you to see objects in front of you. People who have macular degeneration have difficulty reading, driving, watching television, seeing people’s faces, and other common activities of daily life. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in adults over 60, and it affects around 10 million Americans.  

The doctors at Vision Center of Lake Norman and Lifetime Eyecare have the expertise and the latest in technology to diagnose macular degeneration in its earliest stages before you may be aware of symptoms or loss of vision. While there is currently no cure for macular degeneration, the earlier in the development of the disease you get diagnosed, the more proactive measures you can take to delay or even prevent blindness.   

Types of macular degeneration

There are two types of age-related macular degeneration: dry and wet. Depending on the type, the disease can progress slowly or develop rapidly.  

Dry age-related macular degeneration 

The most common type of macular degeneration, dry age-related macular degeneration can occur as the macula gets thinner with age.  

  • You may notice any obvious symptoms in early-stage dry AMD.  
  • As the disease progresses to the intermediate stage, you may notice some symptoms, such as mild blurriness in the central vision or trouble seeing in low light.  
  • When the disease progresses to late stage, lines appear wavy and there will be a dark spot in the central field of vision. 

Wet age-related macular degeneration

Also known as neovascular AMD, any stage of dry AMD can turn into wet AMD — but wet AMD is always late stage. It happens when abnormal blood vessels grow in the back of the eye and damage the macula. Vision loss occurs rapidly in wet AMD.

Testing for macular degeneration

We use the latest in technology to diagnose macular degeneration. Diagnostic tests may include the following:

AdaptDx Pro® test by MacuLogix®  

Risk factors for macular degeneration 

Risk for developing macular degeneration increases as you age. People over 50 are more likely than younger people to develop macular degeneration.  

Other risk factors include:  

  • Family history of AMD 
  • Caucasian 
  • Smoking 
  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol 

Because there are no symptoms in the early stage of macular degeneration, it is vital for adults to get regular comprehensive eye exams, particularly if there is a family history of AMD or other risk factors. The best way to prevent developing macular degeneration is to not smoke, eat a healthy diet, and exercise on a regular basis. Wearing quality sunglasses to block 99% – 100% of UV rays also help protect your eyes.   

We offer eye vitamins for macular degeneration.


Scientifically formulated and clinically proven to rebuild macular pigment, MacuHealth optimizes visual performance and protects vision over a lifetime.

Testing for macular degeneration 

We use the latest in technology to diagnose macular degeneration. Diagnostic tests may include the following:

AdaptDx Pro® test by MacuLogix® 

In addition to the standard tests performed during a comprehensive eye exam, the doctors at Vision Center of Lake Norman and Lifetime Eyecare use the AdaptDx Pro® test to screen for early signs of macular degeneration. The AdaptDx Pro® test by MacuLogix® allows your eye doctor to measure dark adaptation speed, which may indicate the presence of AMD up to three years earlier than other tests.

The AdaptDx Pro® measures the number of minutes it takes your vision to adjust to darkness, your dark adaptation speed. The result of the test is your Rod Intercept® (RI®). This single number provides your doctor with critical information to help determine if you have AMD. The test takes only about 10 minutes. You’ll wear a headset and press a button every time you see a flashing light. Your doctor will review the results with you.