What are the symptoms of geographic atrophy?

Here we are going to share information on the topic “What are the symptoms of geographic atrophy?”  Your central vision is affected by geographic atrophy, often known as advanced dry age-related macular degeneration. Your ability to read, drive, and possibly recognize faces is affected by this. There’s a chance you can lower your risk. A drug is currently available to treat geographic atrophy.

What are the symptoms of geographic atrophy?
What are the symptoms of geographic atrophy?

Geographic atrophy: what is it?

In the medical community, later-stage cases of dry age-related macular degeneration are referred to as “geographic atrophy” (AMD). The macula of your retina is impacted by the eye ailment known as macular degeneration. Your central vision is severely impaired by this condition. Your peripheral vision, or what you can see around the center, will remain intact.

Geographic atrophy usually affects both eyes (bilateral). You will experience some visual loss and blind patches (scotomas) in your central field of vision if you have geographic atrophy.

What are the symptoms of geographic atrophy?

When does geographic atrophy occur?

Around 8 million individuals worldwide suffer from geographic atrophy. This number corresponds to around 20% of the total population with age-related macular degeneration.

One million Americans are thought to suffer from geographic atrophy.

Signs and Origins

What signs of geographic atrophy are present?

Macular degeneration reaches a late stage known as geographic atrophy. In the early stages, or when the illness only affects one eye, you might not notice any symptoms. When they manifest, indications of geographic atrophy consist of:

  • Reduction in visual acuity (sharpness of vision).
  • Problems with reading, driving, crafting, or any other activity requiring good central vision.
  • A region in your field of view that is black or blind.
  • Vision problems in low light.
  • Colors are becoming duller or less vivid.

Geographic atrophy: what causes it?

The final stage of dry age-related macular degeneration is called geographic atrophy. Although the precise source of the changes in the eye that result in geographic atrophy is unknown, researchers believe that your immune system—specifically, the complement cascade—may be involved. It’s also possible that environmental and genetic variables contribute.

Geographic atrophy cannot be spread. It is not contagious, unlike many disorders where germs can be transferred.

Geographic atrophy is associated with risk factors. An individual is more likely to develop the illness if certain risk factors are present.

Which variables put one at risk for geographic atrophy?

The following are risk factors for geographic atrophy:

  • being sixty years of age or older.
  • having white skin.
  • has light-colored eyes.
  • having biological relatives that suffer from other genetic eye disorders, such as macular degeneration.
  • having smoked in the past or currently.

having a past in which they consumed fewer nutritious foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. Leafy green veggies with a deep green color are beneficial to your eyes.

  • possessing a past of excessive sun exposure.
  • having vision that is 20/200 or worse as opposed to the ideal 20/20.

Having diseases like the following are additional risk factors:

  • Obesity.
  • elevated blood pressure.
  • elevated cholesterol.
  • Diabetes.
  • heart disease caused by cholesterol.

What drawbacks does geographic atrophy present?

Currently, geographic atrophy-related vision loss is irreversible. A lack of central vision might make it challenging to do certain everyday tasks, such as reading.

  • Driving.
  • identifying faces.
  • engaging in certain hobbies or crafts.

Diagnoses and Examinations

How does one diagnose geographic atrophy?

Using a combination of diagnostic tests and a thorough eye examination, an eye care professional will identify geographic atrophy. In addition, they’ll inquire about your medical history, family medical history, and current symptoms.

Your provider will be able to identify symptoms of geographic atrophy during the eye exam.

Which examinations will be performed to identify geographic atrophy?

Your eye doctor might place the following orders to diagnose geographic atrophy:

Fundus autofluorescence: In this kind of retinal imaging, chemicals found in the retina—like lipofuscin—are used to produce images without the need for injected dyes.

Optical coherence tomography: This kind of reflected light retinal imaging is noninvasive.

Retinal imaging is provided by microperimetry, a kind of visual field test.

Multifocal electroretinography: This test monitors electrical activity in the retina by exposing it to light.

Handling and Medical Interventions

How can one treat geographic atrophy?

The first drug to treat geographic atrophy was just approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.

Pegcetacoplan (SYOFOVRETM) is an intraocular injection given either monthly or every other month to reduce the disease’s progression.

Additional strategies to address geographic atrophy include:

Visual rehabilitation offers a range of treatments, such as learning how to conduct daily activities, getting prescription eyewear, and receiving visual aids like magnifying glasses.

Supplements containing antioxidants were examined in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2). These are used by certain medical professionals to treat age-related dry macular degeneration. The same chemicals are included in an AREDS1 recipe, which also includes beta-carotene, which is linked to lung cancer in smokers. Zinc oxide, cupric oxide, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin E are all included in AREDS2.

Implantable microtelescope (IMT): An IMT is used by your surgeon to replace your lens. Things in your field of vision are enlarged and focused on other parts of your retina that are still functional with the gadget.

The adverse effects and complications of certain Pegcetacoplan injectable therapies for geographic atrophy are very recent. According to manufacturer literature, the following negative effects could occur:

  • eye discomfort.
  • bleeding in the conjunctiva, also known as subconjunctival hemorrhage.
  • In your vitriolic humor, floaters.
  • The eye’s neovascularization


Can one avoid geographic atrophy?

No. It is impossible to stop geographic atrophy.

What steps can I take to reduce my chance of geographic atrophy?

Through the management of modifiable risk factors, you may be able to reduce your chance of getting geographic atrophy. Unlike age or race, modifiable risk factors are something you can alter.

You could reduce your risk by:

  • refraining from smoking. If you smoke, make an effort to stop.
  • Taking care of long-term health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and excessive cholesterol.
  • Wearing protective eyewear, such as yellow-tinted sunglasses to protect the macula in each of your eyes or safety glasses when you’re working,.
  • Eating a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, that includes dark leafy greens and fatty fish and limiting packaged foods and artificial fats.
  • Getting regular physical activity.

Prognosis and Outlook

If I have geographic atrophy, what should I anticipate?

Geographic atrophy has historically not been associated with a positive prognosis for eyesight, although each person’s illness course is unique. Still, there is hope because a new drug for treating geographic atrophy may be on the horizon. Life expectancy is unaffected by the illness, despite eyesight loss. Many people with reduced vision manage to lead full lives.


What are the symptoms of geographic atrophy?

In summary, gradual loss and distortion of central vision are hallmarks of geographic atrophy, a form of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). People may find it more difficult to read, drive, recognize faces, and carry out other duties requiring detailed vision as the illness worsens. The macula develops discrete patches, or “geographic” lesions, as a result of well-defined regions of retinal cell loss associated with geographic atrophy. Significant vision impairment is caused by these lesions, which cause irreparable damage to the retinal tissue.

In order to monitor changes in vision and put the right management methods into place to protect residual vision and quality of life, early detection and routine eye exams are essential. Anyone who notices changes in their vision should see an eye care specialist right away for an assessment and recommendations on the best course of action.

What are the symptoms of geographic atrophy?
What are the symptoms of geographic atrophy?

Frequently asked questions

What are the symptoms of geographic atrophy?

How do you treat geographic atrophy?

However, until recently, there were no treatments available to address the underlying cause of geographic atrophy, a more severe type of dry AMD. The first FDA-approved medication to delay the course of GA is gcetacoplan, also known as Syfovre. You receive an injection in your eye once a month or once every other month.

What age is geographic atrophy?

Geographic atrophy patients usually have a progressive loss of visual function and are older than 60.

How quickly does geographic atrophy progress?

Geographic atrophy is a gradual condition that might take years to manifest. Eventually, one or both eyes may be affected, leading to central vision loss and 20/200 vision.

Why is it called geographic atrophy?

A fascinating note is that in the report’s introduction, they explained the meaning of “geographic atrophy” as follows: “The atrophic form of macular degeneration has also been called “geographic” because the areas of RPE [retinal pigment epithelium] atrophy tend to form well-defined demarcated borders that do not seem to be…

Can geographic atrophy be stopped?

The first drug to treat geographic atrophy was just approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. Pegcetacoplan (SYOFOVRETM) is an intraocular injection given either monthly or every other month.

Is geographic atrophy serious?

While AMD is typified by sudden loss of vision, GA is a degenerative condition that eventually can result in permanent central blindness. It has been calculated that it will take an average of 6.2 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 3.3–8.5 years) to progress to legal blindness.

So, this is how the topic “What are the symptoms of geographic atrophy?” has been addressed.

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