GA Symptoms

GA Symptoms

Early GA

Early GA typically first develops in the region of the macula surrounding the fovea (the parafoveal region), sparing the fovea until late in the course of the disease.7 People with foveal-sparing disease may not have a reduction in central visual acuity but can experience other symptoms of visual decline including:


Blind spots

These impair vision such that full words or a full face do not ‘fit’ on the spared central foveal region. As a result, people may have difficulty recognizing faces or reading, which may be accompanied by a reduction in reading speed. Blind spots are also known as parafoveal scotomas.7,8


Reduced contrast sensitivity

This occurs when the eyes’ ability to see an image against a ‘similar’ background is reduced. Low contrast sensitivity may cause difficulties with night driving, including difficulty seeing pedestrians walking along poorly lit streets. Reduced contrast sensitivity can also increase the risk of a fall, when surfaces at different levels are similarly coloured.9


Delayed dark adaptation

This occurs when it becomes increasingly difficult for eyes to adjust when moving from bright to dim lighting (e.g. entering a dimly lit room such as a dark theatre, from bright daylight outside).



Late GA

Late GA; when atrophy affects both the extra-foveal region and the fovea, is associated with severe deterioration of visual acuity and patients experience symptoms that may include:


Distorted vision

This is where straight lines appear wavy.


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