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Symptoms - Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

AMD affects the middle part of your vision, not the edges (peripheral vision).

You can get it in one eye or both.

Blurred book showing what vision is like for a person with early AMD
The first symptom is often a blurred or distorted area in your vision
A dark patch in the vision of someone with AMD
If it gets worse, you might struggle to see anything in the middle of your vision


AMD can make things like reading, watching TV, driving or recognising faces difficult.

Other symptoms include:

  • seeing straight lines as wavy or crooked
  • objects looking smaller than normal
  • colours seeming less bright than they used to
  • seeing things that aren't there (hallucinations)

AMD isn't painful and doesn't affect the appearance of your eyes.


Sometimes AMD may be found during a routine eye test before you have symptoms.

Non-urgent advice: See an optician if you're worried about your vision

If you have a problem with your eyes, early diagnosis and treatment may help stop your vision getting worse.

Find an opticians

Urgent advice: Get an urgent opticians appointment if:

  • your vision gets suddenly worse
  • you have a dark "curtain" or shadow moving across your vision
  • your eye is red and painful

These aren't symptoms of AMD but can be signs of other eye problems that need to be treated immediately.

Go to A&E or call 111 straight away if you can't get an urgent appointment.

Find an A&E department

Page last reviewed: 27 March 2018
Next review due: 27 March 2021