Dry AMD is most common type of macular degeneration and affects 90% of the people who have the condition. In the dry form, there is a breakdown or thinning of the layer of retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) in the macula. These RPE cells support the light sensitive photoreceptor cells that are so critical to vision. When we look at something, the photoreceptors (rods and cones) gather the images and send them to the brain, where vision takes place.
The death or degeneration of these cells is called atrophy. Hence, dry AMD is often referred to as atrophic AMD. It is characterized by the presence of drusen (dots of yellow crystalline deposits that develop within the macula) and thinning of the macula. Dry or atrophic MD reduces one's central vision and can effect color perception. Generally, the damage caused by the "dry" form is not as severe or rapid as that of the "wet" form. However, over time, it can cause profound vision loss.
Here are some answers to a few important questions: