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Use our Eye Condition Simulator to learn how common eye diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and cataracts can affect vision.

1 Please start by selecting an image
3 Use slider to see progression of eye disease and changing description below

No visual symptoms are present at this stage.

As symptoms of macular degeneration begin to become apparent, individuals will start to experience a loss of vision in the center of their sightline, which can sometimes look like a soft grey-black mass that can be somewhat translucent in the beginning.

At the mid-stages of macular degeneration, the mass/blind spot obstructing central vision can become more opaque and begin to expand. There may also be a slight haziness surrounding the blind spot and light, translucent shapes may begin to form throughout the visual field.

As macular degeneration progresses, the blind spot in the center of the sightline may become larger and more opaque. The translucent shapes present throughout the visual field may also grow slightly and become more opaque.

In the later stages of macular degeneration, the central blind spot grows and individuals may experience great difficulty executing everyday tasks like reading or walking. There may also be blurring and faint obstructions in other areas of the visual field.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans, affecting more than 10 million people. AMD causes damage to the macula (the central part of the retina) and can result in a loss of central vision. There are two forms of AMD: dry and wet. 90% of people with AMD have the dry form, which can convert to the wet form. Wet AMD can quickly lead to vision loss if not treated right away. Although it isn’t known what causes AMD or why it progresses to the later stages, treatments are available to slow down the degenerative process.

No visual symptoms are present at this stage.

During the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, dark, irregularly shaped obstructions begin to pepper the field of vision. There may also be some overall darkening in the field of vision, as though a light has been dimmed.

With mid-level diabetic retinopathy, the dark obstructions throughout the field of sight may grow and spread, making it very difficult for the individual to navigate their surroundings. There may be an overall dimming effect in the remaining vision.

Very little clear vision will remain at the final stages of diabetic retinopathy, as the dark obstructions spread and almost entirely consume usable vision.

At this point, the person may have very little, if any, usable vision. The dark obstructions will likely have spread to almost entirely blanket the visual field. Any vision that remains will likely be blurry and dim.

Many people living with diabetes have some form of diabetic retinopathy, a condition that occurs when elevated glucose levels in the blood cause blood vessels in the eye to swell and leak in the retina. Often there are no symptoms in the early stages and vision is not affected. Without treatment, diabetic retinopathy can advance to uncorrectable vision loss – often appearing as blurred or patchy vision – or even blindness, usually in both eyes. With routine eye examinations, diabetic retinopathy can be detected and treated.

No visual symptoms are present at this stage.

In the early stages of cataracts, a light cloudiness can begin to appear, often in the center of the sightline, but some patches of sight may still remain clear.

At the mid-stage of cataracts, the cloudiness becomes more opaque and grows to cover a larger area of the visual field. Small translucent-white dots may also become visible.

As the cataracts progress, the cloudiness and dotting effect continue to spread and become thicker. The effect is similar to looking through a dirty car windshield. It may be difficult for the individual to make out objects around them and navigate their surroundings.

In the final stages of cataracts, vision may be almost entirely obscured with a milky haze, which may be slightly translucent. There may be patches of thick, cloudy blind spots throughout the visual field.

As you age, your lenses naturally harden. In some people, this can cause a clouding in the lens known as cataracts, which blocks light from reaching the retina, causing blurred vision and sensitivity to glare. Cataracts are painless and are usually detected during routine eye exams. Corrective surgery is often recommended if the level of vision loss interferes with daily activities, such as driving or reading. Cataract surgery is highly successful, restoring vision in approximately 97% of people and it is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the world.

No visual symptoms are present at this stage.

During the early stages of glaucoma, peripheral vision begins to darken and the individual must rely much more heavily on central vision.

With mid-level glaucoma, the darkening peripheral vision continues to grow toward the center of one’s sightline. Often called “tunnel vision”, the effect is similar to looking through a pinhole camera.

As glaucoma progresses, peripheral vision is lost entirely, and only a small amount of vision may remain in the center of the visual field.

In the final stages of glaucoma, the individual may be left completely blind or with only a small point of vision in the center of the sightline. At its worst, Glaucoma damages the optic nerve resulting in total blindness.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of vision loss (behind macular degeneration) in the United States. The condition involves damage to the optic nerve, which is often the result of a build-up of excess fluid, causing high pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma can begin without any symptoms and over time can advance to more severe stages, in which central vision narrows to “tunnel” vision or even result in a complete loss of vision. Through early detection and treatment, severe vision loss or blindness can be prevented.