Risk Factors and Symptoms: Wet age-related Macular Degeneration

 Age and family history play a role

Risk factors for wet AMD include: 1,2

  • diagnosis of dry macular degeneration
  • age (65+)
  • a family history of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • a history of smoking
  • high BMI (body mass index), a measure of body fat based on height and weight for adults
Doctor with patient with spoon over one eye

Wet AMD can cause the following symptoms:1

  • Distorted and/or blurry vision
  • An empty or dark area in the middle of vision
  • Objects that appear to be the wrong size or shape
  • Perceiving a waviness to straight lines
  • Incorrect perception of colours
  • Visual difficulty with everyday activities, like reading, watching TV or driving
  • Wet macular degeneration typically starts in one eye, and, in some people, may eventually affect both eyes

All of these symptoms can appear and worsen rather quickly, so it is important to set up and keep regular check-ups with your eye doctor.


  1. Cheung CM, Laude A, Yeo I, et al. Systemic, Ocular and Genetic Risk Factors for Age-related Macular Degeneration and Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy in Singaporeans. Sci Rep. 2017; 7:41386.
  2. Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration. American Macular Degeneration Foundation website. Available at: https://www.macular.org/risk-factors. Accessed July 2019
  3. National Eye Institute. Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Available at https://nei.nih.gov/eyedata/amd. Accessed July 2019.
  4. Bressler NM. Early detection and treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration. The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 2002;15(2):142-152
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