Time Line on Macular Degeneration

I am 71 and recently diagnosed with mild wet macular degeneration.

My doctor said that I would not have blindness in my lifetime. I've been trying to find out how long it usually takes from mild to blindness. Thank you.

Thanks for your e-mail and question on the prognosis of wet macular degeneration.

To give you an idea of how difficult this question is to answer, Dr. Lylas Mogk, the author of Macular Degeneration, The Complete Guide to Saving and Maximizing your Sight, has titled one of the pages in her book, "Macular Degeneration isn't Predictable."

It is true you won't go blind - macular degeneration causes the loss of central vision, while much of your peripheral vision remains.

However, people with wet macular degeneration can experience a very sudden loss of vision when leaky blood vessels flood the macula killing the photoreceptor cells.

To help you better understand why this retinal disease is so unpredictable please go to:

Macular Degeneration Prognosis

To read what others have written about their experience regarding the progression of their
macular degeneration click here and scroll to the middle of the page:

What Others Have Experienced with AMD

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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Untreated Wet Macular Degeneration

by John
(United States)

Mild wet Macular degeneration. If bleeding and left untreated, how long for total blindness in that eye..average?


Hi John,

Macular degeneration, wet or dry, affects mainly the central vision. Left untreated, neither condition will lead to complete blindness.

Legal blindness, on the other hand, is quite common in macular degeneration as there can be significant loss of central, or reading, vision. The peripheral vision is preserved.

Hope this helped.

Randall V. Wong, M.D.

Dr. Wong is a Retina Specialist in Fairfax Virginia

Retina Specialist
Fairfax Virginia

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Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration Prognosis

by Norma
(Palmyra, PA or Murrells Inlet, S. C.)

Since I have wet macular degeneration in one eye does that mean that it will eventually go to my other eye? Also does it mean that I will go blind?


Hello Norma,

Macular degeneration doesn't spread to the other eye, like a bacteria or a virus. However, having wet macular degeneration in one eye, increases your risk of developing it in the other eye.

To read about what risk factors contribute to the development of AMD in the second eye go to:

Wet Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration affects only your central vision. It is not blindness. It is considered low vision. Low vision is visual impairment that cannot be corrected by glasses, surgery or medical treatment.

However, a person still has some usable peripheral or side vision that with training, low vision aids and magnifiers can continue to do many of the activities they enjoyed before.

Read what others have written about how macular degeneration has affected their vision and their lives and how they have found ways to adapt and adjust:

Readers Stories of Their Macular Degeneration Journey

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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Wet Macular Degeneration Prognosis

by Collette
(United States)

How "rapid" is the progression of vision loss in wet macular degeneration -- weeks, months years???

It will be different for each individual, but in general how rapidly is vision lost in most people?


Hi Collette,

This is one of the biggest concerns for those with macular degeneration and unfortunatley, one of the hardest questions to answer. The reason is that the progression of macular degeneration is different for each person and different for eye of your own eyes.

Another factor is how a person responds to treatment, again it is different for each person.

However you may find it helpful to read what others have shared about how their AMD has progressed:

Share your Macular Degeneration Prognosis

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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Oct 04, 2011
Three years and Counting
by: Barry5

While I lost most central vision due to lack of treatment in my left eye, the right, (which followed 3 years after the left) is still holding rather steady.

I have choroidal neovasculariztion (CNV) macular degeneration and have been told that it's a bit more agressive than some cases.

It actually improved near the beginning of this year as I'm in a clinical trial on an experimental drug called Pazopanib.

Perhaps you should consider getting into the next phase of testing. From what I gather, it may be starting the first of next year, but to my knowledge, no news of this is yet available.

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How long before he will go blind from macular degeneration?

by Joey
(Deer Park, Australia)

My dad has just been diagnosed with macular degeneration, how long before he will be blind?

He is not diabetic, slightly overweight and is 54 years old.


Hi Joey,

Thanks for your question. There are basically two types of age related macular degeneration (AMD) - dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration.

Find out which type your father has. The dry form progresses slowly over time and the wet can cause a sudden change in vision - notice I did not say blindness. Advanced AMD causes a loss of central vision - a person may have a grey or blank spot in the center of their view - making it hard to recognize a face or to read. However, peripheral or side vision is still there.

You can learn more about the progression of macular degeneration here:

macular degeneration prognosis

You should also be aware that you and your siblings if you have any are at higher risk of developing AMD now that you have a parent with it.

Read Macular Degeneration - Is it Hereditary?

Thanks again for asking!

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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Sep 22, 2011
Macular Degeneration Prognosis
by: Anonymous

What sort of time frame will this be if he has dry macular degeneration?


A more thorough explanation can be found at

macular degeneration prognosis

You can also read what others have shared about their AMD experience here:

Share your macular degeneration story

Kind Regards,


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Macular Degeneration - What am I to expect ?

by Michael
(Pittsfield Ma.)

I'm 51 and have been experiencing distorted vision for 2+ years.

Just found out I have macular degeneration.

Was wondering how long it takes if more deteriorization of pigment takes place or the size and number of drusen increases.... This has been very challenging just to get a diagnosis.

It all started with a severe episode of sudden double vision and has been ever since.. I think it was a retinal TIA that kicked everything off.

Everything things seems smaller and as if time and space are altered.

Anyone else experiencing this??


Hi Michael,

Thanks for sharing with us your experience and your concerns. The progression of macular degeneration depends on many factors - one being whether you have dry or wet macular degeneration.

What to expect is very unpredictable. Macular degeneration prognosis is different for every body and ... different for each eye.

For more information on what one might expect and how to influence the progression of this eye condition click here:

Macular Degeneration Prognosis

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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Aug 11, 2016
Cataract Removal and Macular Degeneration
by: AnonymousShaon

My mother-in-law has wet AMD. Her problems seemed to progress very rapidly after removal of a cataract.

Her treatment has been injections that contains a very low % of a chemo drug. She contracted Endophthalmitis as a result of one injection.

My question is: Can cataract removal be directly associated with advancment of wet AMD?

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