Macular Degeneration Therapy to Preserve and Improve Your Vision
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a serious and potentially devastating disease that can cause irreversible vision loss. Although it cannot be cured, different therapies can slow the progression of the condition, preserving and even improving vision in many cases. Contact us today to learn more.
Macular degeneration (AMD) is caused by deterioration of the central portion of the retina. This central portion, the macula, is the part of the eye with the highest visual sharpness. It greatly influences our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces and colors, and see objects in fine detail.
In its early stages, macular degeneration does not significantly affect vision. As the disease progresses, objects may appear distorted. wavy, or blurry. In more advanced stages, central vision may be significantly impaired, or even lost.
Dry Macular Degeneration
Of the two types of macular degeneration, dry or “atrophic” is the most common. It accounts for approximately 90% of all cases. Dry macular degeneration can be diagnosed before visual symptoms even appear. In early AMD, your Ophthalmologist will note medium-sized druse (yellow deposits beneath the retina) while examining you. While dry macular degeneration can develop quickly, it most often advances slowly. The impact of AMD on vision depends on how profound macular deterioration is.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet, or “exudative” macular degeneration affects approximately 10% of patients with AMD. It is characterized by abnormal blood vessel growth. These blood vessels, which develop around the macula, leak blood into the tissues, creating scarring that can profoundly affect vision.
- Genetics: Individuals with a family history of AMD are at higher risk of developing macular degeneration
- Smoking: Smoking doubles the risk of AMD
- Race: Caucasians are likelier to develop AMD than African-Americans and Hispanics
- Medical Conditions: Such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and obesity
- Long-term exposure to the sun without eye protection
- Monitoring the stability of your eye sight
- Checking for visual distortions by having you look at a special grid
- Using dilating eye drops to thoroughly view your retina and assess the health of your macula
- Creating a precise 3D map of your macula by using Optical Coherence Tomography, which passes light waves through your eye to look for abnormalities
For wet AMD, several types of medications can be injected into the eye; these medications signal the body to stop producing the damaging blood vessels. Some patients also undergo light therapy for wet AMD. In this treatment approach, medication is injected in the eye and then activated by a specialized light. Together, the medication and light seal abnormal blood vessels and stop them from leaking. Laser treatments can also be performed to cause the blood vessels to coagulate and cease leaking.
Ready to see clearly?
We can help you decide if Laser Corrective Surgery is right for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.