Table 2

Symptoms that led to help seeking. Listed in rank order (n=217)

Visual distortion
(wet=62, dry=18, not specified=7)
Distorted vision
(w)‘started to notice distortion in left eye vision’#52
(d)‘I noticed distortion around edges of things & blurring of faces etc.’#669
Distorted/wavy lines
(d)‘I saw wavy lines where I knew it should be straight for example, door frames etc.’ #70
(w)‘noticed tiled floor in bathroom had wavy lines when viewed from right eye…’ #191
Deterioration/loss of visual acuity
(wet=47, dry=19, not specified=17)
Blurred vision
(d)‘slightly blurred vision and difficulty in reading road signs etc’#979
(w)’blurred vision generally’ #804
Deterioration in vision
(d)‘finding my sight had deteriorated too much to drive my car’ #1001
(w)‘I noticed a slight general deterioration in my sight- thought I may need new glasses.’ #637
Loss of vision
(n/s)‘overnight sudden loss of vision’ #1409
(w)’loss of vision when reading…’ #1092
Loss of visual acuity
(n/s)‘sight was not as sharp and did not focus properly’ #178
(w)’…didn’t have clarity of vision’ #989
Difficulty with activities due to AMD symptoms
(wet=15, dry=17, not specified=2)
Difficulty with activities including reading, facial recognition, writing and driving.(d)‘unable to read a notice at a hospital visit, which made me go & seek advice’ #685
(w)‘I was unable to see to read or write and had to be shown where to sign a cheque’ #1076
(w)‘I could not judge traffic when driving one day’#295
(d)‘not able to distinguish people’#986
Central-field defects (scotomas)
(wet=23, dry=6, not specified=5)
Black spots
(n/s)‘I had a black patch in the centre of my left eye’ #119
(w)’saw black patches on white wall’ #715
Blind spots
(d)‘became aware of blind spots for example, knew the chair facing me had 2 arms but could only see one’ #818
(w)‘Noticed broken up images in left eye.’ #726
Loss of central vision
(w)‘central vision in right eye disappeared’ #254
Symptoms not indicative of AMD
(wet=13, dry=2, not specified=4)
Including discomfort/pain in eyes, eyes didn’t line up, double vision, transient loss of vision, black web across vision, shadows in vision and flashing lights.(d)‘my eyes were sore…’ #1275
(w)‘…my eyes didn’t line up properly’ #571
(w)‘double vision’ #902
(w)‘loss of sight on waking for 1 min…’ #441
(w)‘I noticed a big black circle in my eye like a spiders web’ #1393
(d)‘grey shadows across my vision (left eye)’ #619
Symptoms misattributed to another eye condition
(wet=9, dry=3, not specified=1)
(w)‘…At first I therefore thought it was a cataract and deemed ok to leave for a while’ #413
(n/s)‘thought it was connected to the glaucoma’ #956
(w)‘sudden alteration of vision in left eye- thought initially was an eye infection’ #894
Difficulty with dark adaptation/glare
(wet=7, dry=4)
Poor dark adaptation
(d)‘difficulty seeing in dark situations. See a white object in a poor light but unable to see it to pick it up…’ #987
(w)‘eyes took a long while to adjust to different lighting conditions’#168
Increased glare
(w)‘whilst driving at night street lights & car lights seemed twice normal size at a distance’ #682
(d)‘eyes were light sensitive’ #384
  • #number = respondent ID code.

  • This table includes the themes cited by >6 respondents.

  • (d), respondent with dry AMD; (n/s), not specified; (w), respondent with wet AMD.