Eye Health

Macular degeneration Diagnosis and Management
Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration: Treatment, Symptoms & Causes


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that runs in families and is a leading cause of blindness in our aging population. Untreated macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in patients over 65 years old. The macula is the portion of the retina which provides sharp, central vision and is involved in processing the fine details of an image. The breakdown of the macula results in blurring and loss of central vision. There is no cure for this ocular disease and AMD-related vision loss cannot usually be recovered. However, with early detection, vital treatments and preventative measures can be taken, which is why routine eye exams are essential.

While researchers have not yet discovered a cure for AMD, there are treatment options which prevent the disease from progressing to blindness, and in some cases, even improve vision. It is important to have an open discussion with your eye doctor about the risks and limitations of AMD treatments.


What Is Macular Degeneration?

There are 2 basic types of AMD, the wet form and the dry form.

Dry macular degeneration is considered the less aggressive form of AMD. It typically progresses much more slowly and the level of eyesight damage is less severe. Dry AMD is detected during routine eye exams, which is why it is important to have yearly examination, as the risk of developing AMD increases with every passing year. Treating dry AMD often involves high doses of zinc and antioxidants, which have been shown to slow the disease’s progression. Certain lifestyle choices have been associated with a reduced risk of developing AMD or a slower progression of the disease. These include no smoking, UV protection (sun glasses/transition lenses/hats), and a healthy diet rich in carotenoids, lutein and beta-carotene found in the green leafy vegetables, particularly kale.

Wet macular degeneration is the more severe form of AMD. It occurs when there is abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage, which can cause scar tissue to develop. Treatments include laser surgery, injection of light sensitive dyes or the injection of AMD medication directly into the eye to inhibit progression. Approximately 20% of patients who have dry AMD will progress to a more severe type such as wet AMD.

EMERGENCY EYE CARE

We will make every effort to accommodate patients with red eyes, painful eyes, ocular foreign bodies, sudden vision changes, sudden floaters or flashes of light. Please call our office to book an appointment as we dedicate certain appointments only for ocular emergencies.



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