Doctors don't have definitive answers yet, but they do what what may increase your risk of developing wet age-related macular degeneration.
Frank Siringo, M.D., O.D., chief of vitreoretinal diseases and surgery at Omni Eye Specialists in Denver, describes what doctors know about the causes and risk factors for wet age-related macular degeneration.
When people switch from dry to wet AMD, we're not exactly sure what occurs, but there are a lot of risk factors. There's some systemic inflammation that occurs. So, there's some actual chemicals and hormones in the body that change when people switch from dry to wet AMD. That's an area of active research right now.
Then during the physical exam and some of the imaging or pictures that we take of the eye during the eye exam, we can see some high-risk factors for dry AMD patients to switch to wet AMD. And that may change how frequently we follow them. What we’re looking for are the drusen or deposits under the retina. The more of them you have and the wider and bigger they are, sometimes they can actually kind of coalesce together and become one super giant drusen. Patients with these large numerous drusen have a higher risk factor for AMD switching over to the wet kind.