Geographic atrophy is an advanced form of dry macular degeneration (AMD) that causes a black spot in central vision.
Reason for Geographic Atrophy
Our eyes need healthy photoreceptor cells (rods and cones) to gather incoming light and transmit images to the brain. In late stage dry AMD, protein deposits (drusen) forming on the macula (the central part of the retina) clump on the photoreceptor cells and cause them to die. When these photoreceptor cells are lost, central vision is lost. This is a slow process that will also begin to affect the visual cells in the retina.
Symptoms of Geographic Atrophy
- Difficulty reading in dim lighting situations
- Central vision loss
- Black spot in central vision
- Slower reading speed
- No change in peripheral vision
Risk Factors for Geographic Atrophy
- Aging (more frequent in a person’s 70s and 80s)
- History of smoking
- High blood pressure
- Light colored iris
Treatment for Geographic Atrophy
Unfortunately there is no treatment for this condition. Our Reston, VA, macular degeneration doctors will monitor the progression of this disease to help protect vision for as long as possible.
If you are experiencing any change in your central vision, contact our macular degeneration doctors to schedule an eye exam to identify the root cause of your vision problems.