The earliest sign of dry macular degeneration is often the presence of small yellow deposits called drusen beneath the retina.
These drusen are formed by waste products from the retina accumulating beneath the retina. As the drusen become larger, they reduce the flow of nutrients to the retina while at the same time causing the layer of supporting cells beneath the retina to become very thin. The macula which depends on them degenerates and loses its visual function.
Drusen can be found in young people too, and their presence alone does not mean that you will have visual problems.
There will be no leaking of blood or fluid so this type of degeneration is called dry macular degeneration. Of the two types of AMD, dry is much more common, but it allows many people to maintain a useful degree of vision. Dry AMD can develop into wet AMD over time.