What if I Have Drusen?

What if I Have Drusen?

 Drusen and the diagnosis of macular degeneration.  Randall Wong, M.D., Retina Specialist, Fairfax, Virginia 22031


Drusen are not diagnostic of macular degeneration.  These whitish/yellow spots of the retina can be a normal finding and their presence does not mean you will develop macular degeneration (ARMD).  There are other criteria necessary to make the diagnosis of ARMD.

“Druse” may occur in 3 locations within the eye;

  • The Macula
  • The Peripheral Retina (non-macular)
  • and the Optic Nerve

In the Optic Nerve Head (ONHD)

These are not even found in the retina.  These are calcified and found within the optic nerve, but can be diagnosed when looking into the eye during a retinal examination.

These drusen have nothing to do with macular degeneration.  Loss of the peripheral vision is possible.  Patients with ONHD are probably best evaluated by a glaucoma specialist as the mechanism of vision loss is similar to that of glaucoma.

Diagnosis is usually pretty straight forward.  Often these tiny round globules can be seen during a dilated eye exam and can also be detected with ultrasound and CT scan due to the calcification.  They can run in families.

Outside of the Macula

These whitish spots are found in the retina, but not in the macular area.  These are usually whitish/yellow looking flecks found within the layers of the retina and are visible during examination.

When outside of the macula, they are commonly feared to be related to ARMD, but there is no association.  Non-macular lesions are sometimes called “familial drusen” and are a normal finding with no predisposition to the development of ARMD.

Macular Druse: Can Be Associated with ARMD

These are the most confusing and also the most worrisome.  Drusen in the macula can be NORMAL and do NOT necessarily mean you have or will develop macular degeneration.

Those lesions located within the macula are worrisome due to the association with macular degeneration, or ARMD.  There are two types:  hard and soft.  Both may be found in patients with macular degeneration

Hard and soft types differ in appearance and probably have a different association with macular degeneration.  In general, the “hard” variety are more common, especially as we age.  The “soft” lesions are probably found more often in wet ARMD.

Both types of druse may be found in patients with macular degeneration, but the mere presence of  either drusen does not make the diagnosis of macular degeneration nor are they prognostic indicators for the development of the disease.

What If You Have Drusen?

If your doctor diagnosis you with drusen, do the following;

  1. Relax.
  2. Are the within the macula?  If not, probably nothing to worry about.
  3. If they are located in the macula, do you have any symptoms such as decreased vision, distortion or blind spots?  By decreased vision, I mean, with correction, do  you have any of these symptoms?  If not, probably okay to monitor, but make sure you visit your eye specialist if any symptoms develop.

Retina specialists, like me, are the most appropriate to make the diagnosis.  If there is any question, make an appointment to see a specialist.

What Does This Mean?

There are several criteria needed to make the diagnosis of macular degeneration.  You have to look like you have the disease, have the right genetic makeup, be the right age and have evidence of decreased vision.

A retina specialist might consider additional testing, such as a fluorescein angiogram, to determine if there is any evidence of deterioration or degeneration of the retina.

Drusen only are commonly normal.


    Posted at 13:23h, 09 March Reply

    i need and want more info regarding mactel ( juxatfoveal telagentasisa type 2 a) i am 49 have had this diease since i was 42 and would like any info you have . have been getting avastin injections with no help have severe damage to the left retina and getting worse in the right one also

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:14h, 19 March Reply

      Dear Carrie,

      I don’t have any articles written on this blog about juxtafoveal telangiectasia.


  • D, Wilgus
    Posted at 18:26h, 09 March Reply

    Dear Dr. Wong,
    Wouldn’t drusen, forming just below the photoreceptorsand just above the RPE (retinal pigment epithelium) slow down the nourishment to the just above photoreceptors and make them function less efficiently?

    D. Wilgus

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:19h, 19 March Reply

      Dear D, Wilgus,

      I would have to say that I agree, but am not sure if these are the only factors involved. I am not completely sure I understand exactly how the drusen would effect the photorecptors…..if at all.


  • archie hill
    Posted at 14:59h, 12 March Reply

    Hi doctor i have mailed you before about my wife jacqueline who at the age of 50 was diagnosed 3 years ago with macural degeneration. She was seeing her opthamologist every 6 months up until this year when he said he was really pleased with her and wanted to see her in a year’s time her eyesight is still fine im really confused as when he diagnosed her with soft drusen why did he say she had macural degeneration. Also he said the drusen was now static what does he mean we are obviously still worried about this.
    much obliged doctor.

  • Robin
    Posted at 11:27h, 15 March Reply

    Hi Doctor,
    I went to my optometrist this week because I have noted a change in my vision. I’ve worn glasses since I was 5, progressive/reading glasses for 2 years (I am now 43), and was concerned. She noted that one eye did have decreased vision (since my last appointment in August), with an increase in both my near sightedness and astigmatism. She then noted “macular exudates” in both eyes, for which she has referred me to a retinal specialist. My appointment is in 2 weeks. The optometrist did not see this in September when my eyes were dilated due to a floater blocking my line site while being fitted with contacts). I had never even heard of this so didn’t have any questions I could ask at the time, and am still trying to come up with question to ask the retinal specialist. Are there any you suggest? I have a history of Central Serous Retinopathy (during both of my pregnancies, and both times resolved on it’s own – only one eye, and I can’t remember which – 12 years ago at this point). I’m in a new state from my pregnancies, so this opthalmologist/retinal specialist is new to me. My contact wear is minimal, just for skiing 1/week or so.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:29h, 19 March Reply

      Dear Robin,

      I would simply ask if there is a change in your vision OR a change in your prescription. My guess is that your prescription changed. If the vision is stable (i.e. still 20/20) despite a change in prescription…no big deal.

      I would then ask if he/she feels the need for routine visits with him/her.


  • Karen
    Posted at 10:16h, 30 April Reply

    Received an e-mail saying i had to ok you to send informaiton to me by clinking on a link the link does not work?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:45h, 03 May Reply

      Dear Karen,

      The link works. I have to “approve” all comments as it is not automatic. This process prevents spam from clogging up the website. I try to answer comments 2x per week.

      Sorry for the inconvenience.


  • L Weaver
    Posted at 23:06h, 23 May Reply

    I was referred to a Neuro-Ophthmologist by my Neurologist, who I see for intractable migraines, for visual disturbances (colored lights, dark spots, wavy lines, waffle like patterns, etc) that I’v had for years now. At the appointment I had my eyes dilated and when they did the exam, they found “yellow spots on my retina”. The doctor had some imaging of my eyes done and then referred me come back in 2 weeks to have a visual field test done to test my peripheral vision and at that time to also see a retina specialist because these “spots” are not normal for someone in their 20’s, he said.
    I had never heard of this before. I’d had my eyes dilated when having my eyes checked during routine eye exams for glasses, and since I went in for visual disturbances, hearing about the possibility I could have blind spots in my vision wasn’t what I was expecting.
    Now after my appointment I’m confused and have questions, but I don’t really know what questions to ask. Any suggestions as to somethings I should write down to bring with me to my next appointment to discuss with the specialist?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:18h, 30 May Reply

      Dear L Weaver,

      Sounds as if you were told two different things. I’d like to know the retina specialist’s view. Optic nerve drusen?


  • Avionna
    Posted at 10:13h, 07 June Reply

    Dear Dr, Wong,
    I am : female – currently 65 – a specialised eye clinic diagnosed right eye with incipient AMD 3 years ago (during a check up related to something else) – but otherwise very healthy.
    Druses in the macula exist but have not yet interefered with eyesight .
    Once a year a retinal scan is done by the clinic on both eyes.
    I was told last January that the left eye shows signs of “glazing” in the macula area and that AMD would probably progress slowly in that eye too.
    Currently – June 2012- I am noticing the arrival of a light black shadowy patch @ 340º from macula focal point and close to it. ( Perceived only on white background of a book page or a computer page.)
    For over 20 years, without going over the top with it, I have had a very healthy life style with fresh fruit, vegs, nuts, seeds, regular exercise, but do take supplements, Ginkgo Biloba, A-Z vitamin supplement, a capsule with Lutein, zeaxanthine and meso-zeaxanthine . Besides AMD I am the healthy active type “never ill ” who will only take medecine as a last resort if something happens.
    Without being hypochondriac, I do monitor my eyes and most of my keeping healthy efforts go to trying to slow the progress of AMD.
    Thinking logically and coldly : the back of the eyes ‘ chemical reaction to light entering produces normal chemical debris >> druses are produced by the accumulation of debris which the blood should have “carried away” but has not >> is there something deficient in my blood – one of its components not chemically binding or simply not there – which is tempering with this function ? i.e. could I have a specific blood test done to establish my blood´s quality to clean the eyes – and body ? >> in turn if the blood is no longer good enough, would my liver be responsible for a substandard production ?

    At this stage I know that nothing exists to cure AMD but that its progress can be slowed.
    ( besides proper food, I wear 100% anti UV A & B + 98% anti blue light enormous glasses to cover my sight correcting glasses (short sight on left eye and long sight on right eyes) and a wide bream hat – I also try to avoid water and light floor reflecting surfaces )

    What are the results of stem cell research for AMD……….any progress in sight…? ( sorry could not help that pun !) I read that it had been successful on dogs.

    Many anticipated grateful thanks for your help,

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:23h, 18 June Reply


      I would ask your doctors for a more definitive diagnosis or explanation of what is meant by “glazing.” I’ve never heard such a term used for retinal problems.

      I am not sure we really know why drusen develop in some individuals and not others. While there is evidence that drusen might be related to “debris,” I would hesitate to assume it is related to any systemic deficiencies or problems.

      Stem cell research provides us all with lots of hope…perhaps too much. We have little data on successful experimentation on ARMD, yet I am not aware of any specific results in dogs (I am not even sure there is a macular degeneration equivalent in dogs).

      I would recommend seeking advice to confirm you even have a disease such as macular degeneration. Remember, drusen alone do not make the diagnosis.


  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 10:41h, 29 July Reply


  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 10:50h, 29 July Reply

    Thank you in advance. I am a 53 year old white male. Two weeks ago was examined by an opthamologist who founs macular changes with possible drusen. Sent to retina specialist who confirmed diagnosis. Reading directly from his mailed dictation…visual acuity od 2020 os 2016. iop od 13 os 16. Rare small macular drusin both eyes. Viyreous seperation one eye (assumming thats the large floater i can see). Oct scan was normal. Maculae look “reasonably” healthy. The term reasonably concerns and confuses me. Do i have macular degeneration or am more prone to develop it ? Can it be normal to have drusen at 53 ? I am extremely concerned over my visual future. thank you

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:50h, 31 July Reply

      Dear Steven,

      It can be normal to have drusen at 53.

      You are not destined to develop ARMD just because of the presence of drusen.

      Vitreous separation unrelated to the drusen. A PVD is a normal event. (Posterior vitreous detachment, aka vitreous separation).

      Did you get a fluorescein angiogram?


  • Jae hammond
    Posted at 16:44h, 29 July Reply

    Dear Dr.Wong,

    Hi I am 27 diagnosed with optic neve drusen when I was 13, at the age of 21 my left eye started to loose peripheral vision. The last few days getting very bad clouding, grey spots and wiggly clear lines in my vision. Went to optician they did all the tests said my left eye had lost more peripheral vision and my right eye has started to loose some as well. But he said I had a retinal scar on my right eye! This was not there in November, could the drusen have caused this? I have had no head injuries or eye infections. I am concerned as they have referred me for an urgent hospital appointment but heard nothing. I just want to know if the drusen are causing the effect in my vision and the main source to this scar?

    Thank you so much

    Jae (England)

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:54h, 31 July Reply

      Dear Jae,

      The retinal scar is not from the drusen.

      Keep us up to date and best of luck!


  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 22:12h, 01 August Reply

    The retina specialist did not perform a fluorescein. I did not have health insurance , not sure if that entered into him not performing the test. He didnt seem too concerned about anything but when i asked him if i had macular degeneration, he answered yes..early stages of it. what do you think he meant by my maculae looking “reasonably” healthy. If nothing was wrong, wouldnt he say healthy ? Thank you once again for your prompt answers and help. I am having trouble dealing with this issue, it really scares me.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:33h, 17 August Reply

      Dear Steven,

      The insurance issue may have been the reason for the lack of the FA. No harm.

      Perhaps your doctor doesn’t like the liability of saying “healthy” and is playing it safe. Regardless, if your vision is good with glasses and there is no distortion…you are probably ok. If you ever notice decreased vision and/or distortion, call your eye doc.


  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 09:26h, 24 August Reply

    thank you again for this wonderful blog. The other eye now has floaters, called the eye dr and he had me come in. Its the same as the other eye now he said, a vitreos seperation. He told me something he didnt previously and that is i have cataracts in both eyes. My question is, would cataract surgery worsen the floaters(vitreous seperation). Also, can it worsen/hasten the macular degeneration he said i have? Are the risks worth the surgery. Thank you once again

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:09h, 28 August Reply

      Dear Steven,

      Cataract surgery may appear to worsen the floaters as the contrast between light and dark will be pronounced with cataract surgery…making your floaters more obvious. It will not impact the macular degeneration.

      Risks of cataract surgery are quite small. Just like gray hair, everyone gets cataracts…some earlier and some later in life, i.e. surgery is likely inevitable.


  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 08:56h, 29 August Reply

    Thank you once again Dr. for the prompt answer. Once last (for now) question. I am planning to have all my teeth removed in one sitting by an oral surgeon (dentures). He said the top two are very close to the sinus (seems most of them are). Is there any risk at all of worsening the floaters and macualer degeneration? Would it be better to have half pulled at a time or is it safe to have them all done at once, top and bottom. Thank you again for this wonderful blog. I called my eye dr. and am still awaiting his response.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:43h, 03 September Reply

      Dear Steven Del Nunzio,

      No problem with macular degeneration and worsening floaters. Have them all pulled at once (ugh!) if okay with your oral surgeon.


  • Kaz
    Posted at 23:58h, 30 October Reply

    I have been diagnosed with drusen, early symptom of macular degeneration (MD). T drusen are not in the macular region of the eye but the concern was that they could be in the future. I contacted the MD foundation here in Australia. They told me about a supplement that you can take for MD but because I don’t have MD as such, if I take Macu vision and Lutein vision will that prevent me from getting MD?



    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 11:44h, 08 November Reply

      Dear Kaz,

      No evidence that taking any supplements will prevent the development of macular degeneration. There may be some data that addresses this in the AREDS2 trial set to be released in a few years.


  • Darrol Cowley
    Posted at 01:21h, 02 January Reply

    Hi Dr. Wong, I went to my optometrist 18 months ago and he said I have early dry age related macular degeneration. Then I went for another exam 6 mOnths ago and he said no change in my eyes. I asked him what type of drusen I have and he told me I have no drusen at all. What do you think I am 55 years old and my vision hasn’t changed at all in the last 4 years. And I have. No symptoms of armd. Thanks, Darrol.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:55h, 02 January Reply

      Dear Darrol,

      Can you get a second opinion? Doesn’t seem to me that drusen should come and go. I assume you saw the same doctor both times?


  • Darrol Cowley
    Posted at 23:04h, 02 January Reply

    Thanks Randy, for your quick response. I will get a second opinion. Darrol!

  • Darrol Cowley
    Posted at 21:34h, 15 January Reply

    Hi Randy., thanks for your good advice to get a second opinion. The optometrist I went to the last 2 times one year part told me I have dry armd. Then when I asked him if I have drusen he said no. I am 55 years old, don’t smoke or drink and am in good shape jog 4 miles per day. So I went to a really good optometrist who did the full eye test including an O.C.T. Test . The result is my eyes look good no drusen at all iny left eye and 3 really small dry drusen in the retina not close to the macular and she says I do not have dry armd. What do you think. Do I have it in my right eye and not in my left eye and is it unusual to have a few small dry drusen in one eye and not the other. So I think everyone should get a second opinion because some optometrists just say you have something without verifying it.,any ways you are great and sure appreciate your remarks. Thanks, Darrol.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 13:43h, 23 January Reply


      Drusen are extremely common and not all drusen are associated with ARMD.


  • Darrol Cowley
    Posted at 23:31h, 23 January Reply

    Randy, thanks . I am sure everyone appreciates your thoughts and your time it takes to respond to any questions., I know I appreciate it.,thanks,,Darrol.,

  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 01:04h, 04 February Reply

    I would also like to say thank you so much Randy for all your help you provide all of us. How common are small hard rare drusen in 50 year old males. The drusen is in the macula. I realize not all drusin is associated with macular degeneration, but are macular drusen always associated with future md? My vision is still good (corrected), Im taking eye vitamins , but still worry about what this drusen means for my future vision.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 12:41h, 13 February Reply


      No, macular drusen are not always associated with future armd. Get regular exams to get objective advice, vitamins probably okay, but no indication for just having drusen.


  • Lorraine chadbourne
    Posted at 20:19h, 25 February Reply

    Hi, I’m a 50 yr. old female living in the uk. I regularly have eye test as I was told several years ago , I have the prensence of “Fuchs Dystrophy” although this had not presented with any symptoms. I recently had an eye test and was told there was no change in this. However the optiiction did say she had noticed that both my retinas looked “hazy”!!!! but offered no explanation. I am currently awaiting an appointment at my local ey e hospital. I am extremely worried,terrified,scared for my future vision . Could this “Haziness” be a sign of cataracts or something more serious.??? I am a widowed mother of two,work full time to support my family, drive,read etc etc…….. I await your speedy reply…….thank you

  • Lorraine chadbourne
    Posted at 19:00h, 03 March Reply

    Hi Randy, thank you for your reply. Slightly worried that you don’t know what it could be tho. My optician routinely take photos of retinas,during the eye exam. She showed me my retinal photo and it didi indeed look hazy,as if someone had blown smoke in my eyes,!! I have heard form my G.P. that she has sent a letter of referral to the hospital, so hopefully my appointment will come through quickly. I’ll keep you u updated, thank you

  • lorraine chadbourne
    Posted at 12:30h, 27 March Reply

    Hi Randi, I thought i`d up date you,
    I saw an optometrist earlier today. After a thorough eye exam, he explained that the haziness was in fact in my cornea and not, as my optician had said, my retina!! I`d already been diagnosed, several years ago with Fuchs endothelail dystrophy and it was in fact , a change in this condition, that had affected my vision. He recommended annual eye exams from now on. Feel so relieved, thank you for you replies x L

  • Steve Bonfis
    Posted at 20:10h, 17 April Reply

    Hi Randi-
    I’m a 63 year old with a history of near sightedness and one episode of bleeding into my left eye without retinal detachment. Both of my eyes have significant floaters, About a year ago I noticed a very slight distortion visible on horizontal lines when looking at a computer screen or at horizontal lines on road signs only on my left eye. This does not seem to be getting worse, My vision is otherwise good and I don’t notice any distortions when looking at an Amsler grid. My OD during a recent routine eye exam said he saw some drusen only in the left eye macular but couldn’t say it if there was any ARMD. My question is whether the distortion plus drusen means ARMD or are there other possible explanation for this combination?

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 10:19h, 23 April Reply

      Dear Steve,

      Best idea for you is to see a retinal specialist and get a fluorescein angiogram if needed. Without the ability to examine you, I’d just be guessing.


  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 16:24h, 28 April Reply

    Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity to talk and learn with you. For a while now I have noticed a disturbing change in my vision. For now, it only is with reading and/or computer/tablet distance. I dont notice it for distance. Looking normally, everything is blurry. However if I tilt my head back and look out of the bottom of my eyes, everything is in focus and nearly clear. Is this just a normal sign of aging, or is it the macular degeneration?
    Once again, I am 53 years old and was in the last year diagnosed with macular degeneration. Drusen in the macular as well as macular “changes”. Thank you again .

  • Laurie Steen
    Posted at 10:58h, 07 May Reply

    Hi Dr. Wong,
    I would like to know if you have ever heard of someone going completely (or to just where they see light) blind from Optic Nerve Drusen. My daughter was diagnosed a little over a year ago with this. She was 18, almost 19. She is now 20. The first Opthomologist that confirmed this said she had a sever case and that he probably had 1 patient that compared to hers and that patient was in his 70’s. We asked for a referral for a second opinion. We were referred to Vanderbilt Eye Institute. They did confirm that she had a severe and unusual case of this. She has significant periphial vision loss and some central vision loss. The said her nerves were flattening out from this and her blood flow from her arm to her eyes is significantly lower than it should be. She has had utra sounds and mri’s to rule out other things that could also be causing this. She goes back to Vanderbilt this month for them to check the progression and they are supposed to check to see if the nerves are flattening more. She is on Glaucoma medicine as a trial. She also occasionally has greying/blacking out of left eye and they have put her on some type of medicine to help keep the fluid down in her eyes. They have told us she will loose most if not all of her vision. Peripheal and Central and it will probably be at a fairly young age. Everything that I have researched says that people don’t have this type/much vision loss with this but that isn’t what they say about her. Have you heard of others that have pretty much lost their vision from this?

  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 15:44h, 17 May Reply

    I am sorry for not specifying, but my above post was for without glasses. Print appears much clearer when i tilt my head back and view from the very bottom of my eyes. However this is a very awkward position to read with, I can only do it for short periods. There is also a distinct halo/reflection above the clear print when viewing like this. With reading glasses, one eye is good, while the other is poor. I am wondering/concerned whether this is from the macular degeneration, mild to moderate cataracts in both eyes, or is it a normal symptom of age. I’m not due back to my retina specialist for 4 more months . Thank you again Dr.

  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 10:42h, 26 May Reply

    Upgraded Internet Explorer and lost all my cookies, posting to redo cookie. Thank you

  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 18:41h, 29 May Reply

    Sorry for posting again, however since updating Internet Explorer I can no longer see previous posts and/or responses unless I repost. Thanks Microsoft, lol.

  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 16:24h, 05 June Reply

    Sorry for not making it clear in my previous post, however this happens with no glasses on. Up till now, I have never worn glasses for reading or computers. For the past few months or so, the only way to see clearly is to tilt my head back and look through the very bottom of my eyes.Everything snaps into focus when doing this. Otherwise everything is a blur and at times double vision. I was wondering if this is normal aging, or is it the macular degeneration and/or cataracts I was diagnosed with last year. When viewing anything further than 3 feet or so, I don’t notice a difference. Viewing from the very top of my eyes produces similar results to the bottom…reading is clearer. Thank you once again, sorry for not making this clearer.

  • scottshaz
    Posted at 06:42h, 06 June Reply

    Hi i have just turned 50. I have drusen around both maculas i notice in my peripheral vision fairly close to my central vision (but not in my central vision) especially when looking at straight lines or the test graph supplied to me buy my ophthamologist six months ago. Now when covering one of my eyes left or right i notice distortion in straight lines. Dont know if it getting closer to my central vision or me paying too much attention to it. I live in Adelaide South Australia. Any thoughts out there. Is there any way to remove drusen via laser or diet

  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 23:04h, 18 September Reply

    Seems my cataracts are at the stage where I need to think about getting the surgery. Are there any additional risks having early macular degeneration ? Im concerned mainly with any risk of accelerating the macular degeneration. Last question, for a white, male in their mid 50’s, in your opinion, how common are small hard macular drusen ? Is it something you wouldn’t be surprised to see or is it very rare to find? I’m extremely confused and concerned with macular drusen. When I asked my retina specialist if I have macular degeneration, he said you can ask 10 doctors and half will say yes, the other 5 will say no. I don’t understand. He was on the yes side btw.As we age (some faster than others) are macular drusen like gray hair and cataracts…..eventually everyone gets them? If you could possibly give a % to my above profile group for srring macular drusen. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity. I am currently saving money to make a trip to visit you for your diagnosis .

  • Steven Del Nunzio
    Posted at 23:39h, 02 October Reply

    Hello Dr. After my visit today with my eye Dr. I am more confused than ever. He said macular drusen is ALWAYS macular degeneration…no exceptions. He said drusen is very rare and you should have none visible for a 54 year old. When asked what I can do he replied not much. Wear glasses with uv protection. Take fish oil. I;m taking occuvite and Lutein daily. I know they aren’t proven to help, however I fell better doing something proactive. What is a safe daily dosage of Lutein? I cant seem to find any info on it. I’m taking 20 mg daily. Thank you once again.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 08:53h, 04 October Reply


      I really am in disagreement with your doctor. It simply isn’t true. With regard to prevention, I agree, especially in light of AREDS 2, not much to do.

      Stay in touch.


  • Rebecka
    Posted at 15:57h, 09 October Reply

    Hi, I am a 27 year old swede with drusen in the macula, hardly noticable in the left eye and a bit more in the right. I have been injected with flouroscence and they are not wet drusen but hard, i have no family history of macula degeneration in my family, but i have +2,50 on both eyes, in my journal you can read that the drusen reflect and i should do a check up each year, so far since they noticed it no changes has happened with the drusen, ( it has been four years since they found the drusen) they have not developed, the eye doctor said that it was not one of the four genetic disorders for young people, so getting to the point, i am studiyng medicine at the third year and after reading about eye diseases i get a bit worried! I should not have drusen in my age. So the question is, because i have them at a younger age will i probsbly then develop amd? Or can they just stop degenerating?

  • C RICC
    Posted at 20:51h, 24 January Reply


  • C RICC
    Posted at 21:12h, 24 January Reply


  • Rhoda
    Posted at 04:06h, 02 September Reply

    Dear Dr.Rendal,

    I am 43 yrs old Caucasian female. During regular eye check-up, my optometrist found wet macular drusen bilaterally scattered around macular area.
    I went to 3-4 specialiststs who confirmend macular drusen. The last one said it is familial drusen, and not to worry too much. He advised that I should have my eyes checked once a year and recomended Ocuvite.
    When I look at Amsler grid with my glasses on (-1.75 with astigmatism), I see some minor distortions on the grid and some kind of greyish specs.
    Should I consider treatment with hot/cold laser, or do you think it is not necessary at this stage?
    Thank you for offering advice on the web. I helps us a lot!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 09:12h, 02 September Reply


      Doesn’t sound as though you have wet macular degeneration. I’d stick to whatever the retina specialist advises. I don’t have the advantage of examining you.



  • Rhoda
    Posted at 04:12h, 02 September Reply

    It helps us a lot!

  • Jen
    Posted at 10:32h, 08 September Reply


    I have come across this blog after much searching online for some information following an eye check I had Friday. I am 27 and the optician said that there is a small mottling area at the back of my right eye – in/around the macular, I saw the photo and they look like drusen. They said there were pigment changes in this eye also, (don’t know if this is the same thing?) everything I read is telling me that I have or inevitably will have macular degeneration which I find to be a scary prospect when I am only 27, there is no family history of this, I am near sighted and my site test showed that my vision has apparently slightly improved. Is there anything else that this can be or is it somewhat inevitable that I will get macular degeneration if I already have this problem now? Seems like this is a ticking time bomb at best.

    Many Thanks,


    • Randall V. Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 22:10h, 21 September Reply


      My best advice is to seek medical attention if you notice distortion. You are quite young to develop macular degeneration – would be very, very unusual.

      Get seen regularly for peace of mind.


  • Pingback:What Is Drusen | Herbal Vitamines
    Posted at 12:31h, 16 March Reply

    […] What if I Have Drusen? – Retina Specialist | Fairfax … – Drusen are not diagnostic of macular degeneration. These whitish/yellow spots of the retina can be a normal finding and their presence does not mean you will develop …… […]

  • Noelene Harding
    Posted at 12:04h, 25 June Reply

    Hi Dr. My daughter is 14 and may have an undiagnosed auto immune inflammatory condition. I read that this may participate in the development of drusen. On Fri the Opthalmologist said she has drusen. I am alarmed and she will now be seen at a rare diseases dept (symptoms without a name clinic) as he auto immune inflammatory diagnosis is still outstanding and has been for the last 7 years. Any advice please?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 15:03h, 07 October Reply

      I am sorry for this very late reply. I simply realized this comment. I can’t make any statement without really knowing your child’s condition and diagnosis. Drusen are not usually part of auto-immune disease. I would encourage you heed the advice of your doctors.


  • Amy
    Posted at 01:42h, 11 October Reply

    Hi. I went to my 3rd specialist today and was told that I have Drusen in my optic nerve in both eyes. He said that I basically don’t have any treatment available for this. Do you know of anything else that I can do or that can be done?

    • Randall Wong, M.D.
      Posted at 19:29h, 20 August Reply

      Not aware of any treatment for drusen of the optic nerve. Sorry for the very, very late response time.


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