The Retina Reference

Age Related Macular Degeneration - Retinal Pigment Epithelial Tear

You should look at the Normal Retina photo first for comparison. In wet age related macular degeneration, an abnormal collection of blood vessels and connective tissue grows between th choroid and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), layers just external to the retinal neural tissue. These abnormal growths have some contractility, and occasionally they contract and tear the overlying RPE, sometimes with sudden loss of vision, but sometimes asymptomatically. In this photo, the RPE tear is the paler area just above the blood. The darker gray area west of the paler area is the contracted, abnormal growth of blood vessels and connective tissue covered by RPE.