Macular degeneration causes loss in the center of the field of vision. In dry macular degeneration, the center of the retina deteriorates. With wet macular degeneration, leaky blood vessels grow under the retina.
Blurred vision is a key symptom.
A special combination of vitamins and minerals (AREDS formula) may reduce disease progression. Surgery may also be an option.
Macular degeneration is a leading cause of visual impairment in people over 65 and can lead to blindness. One in three people will eventually suffer some degree of macular degeneration, which is caused by abnormal blood vessels under the retina, the light-sensitive part of the eye. We treat both the more common “dry” as well as the more dangerous “wet” forms of macular degeneration. While there is currently no cure for this disease, we offer the latest treatments to reduce the risk of vision loss and blindness. These include anti-VEGF drugs—which attack proteins that create the abnormal blood vessels that cause macular degeneration—and photodynamic therapy, in which patients ingest medication that is then activated with a laser.
This high quality video shows several aspects of macular degeneration. It discusses treatments with stem cells that are in the research phase; in the future there may be replacements for the abnormal support cells, the vascular cells and pigmented epithelium, that are diseased in macular degeneration.
Current treatment centers on control of abnormal blood vessels either by photo active laser, laser coagulation, or anti-VEGF. Macular degeneration has two forms, wet and dry. The wet macular degeneration has accumulations, or Drusen, under the epithelium. There are also machines to check the thickness of the macula, which is an aid in diagnosis.
The main symptom of macular degeneration or loss of vision especially in The center of the visual field, which is essential for reading. As I mentioned in my podcast, I made a posting on macular degeneration that includes an amsler grid. Some early symptoms of macular degeneration include waviness of the lines of this grid. Certainly if you have any visual distortion or loss you should see an ophthalmologist.
If your medical plan permits it, I feel but a regular check buy an ophthalmologist approximately every 6 to 12 months, is very useful. My own ophthalmologist checks my retinal thickness, optic nerve, pressure and peripheral Field ( to pick up glaucoma) as well as my vision on each visit.
Macular Degeneration is the most common cause of blindness in the western world.as you get older, it becomes increasingly common, and almost 20% of people older than 85 years have this disease.
It comes in 2 types, dry and wet. Mostly it starts as the milder dry type, which develops slowly and has no definite treatment. The dry type can develop into the more rapidly progressive wet variety, however, and is important to notice and report to your ophthalmologist.
The MACULA is the center of the visual field, and has by far the most photoreceptors. It yields the sharpest vision, and is essential for reading, and even recognizing faces.
LOSS OF VISION is the commonest symptom, but is hard to notice in a slowly developing condition. A neurologist friend of mine alerted me to the AMSLER GRID, which helps in picking up the subtle distortions of this sneaky problem.
Checking your vision every few days-it takes only a few seconds- is a good idea as you age. You might be healthy in every other way, but if you are blind, the quality of life in your final years will suffer. The mechanics of the wavy lines generated by macular degeneration are deposits beneath the macula, raising it up.
The deposits are fatty in the case of the dry, and fluid in the case of the wet macular degeneration; and fluid from the abnormal blood vessels in the wet MD can collect very rapidly indeed.
Even though the cause of MD is unknown, prevention is by the same old healthy habits tiresomely mentioned in all my other postings: DIET and EXERCISE. I’m sure that good sleep doesn’t hurt either, No cigarette smoking of course, and there are some vitamins and minerals mentioned, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and copper.
The wet MD does have a treatment to slow down the disease. Since blood vessel growth is important in causation, antibodies to VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor, are injected into the macular area. I’m sure that more help is on the way. Some treatments to support the protective pigmented layer of the retina are currently in progress.
Empowering Patients Through Education And Telemedicine