Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Our doctors at Associates in Eyecare know that the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans is AMD or Age-related Macular Degeneration. The most important step in eye disease prevention is a regular eye exam that allows us to identify issues like AMD.
The Cause of AMD
The cause of Macular Degeneration is a deterioration of the central region of the retina. The central portion of the retina (macula) serves to focus central vision in the eye. This controls your ability to drive a car, read, see objects in fine detail, and recognize faces or colors.
The Two Types of AMD and Their Symptoms
Dry Macular Degeneration (Non-Neovascular)
Dry AMD is the most common form of this disease and can result from depositing of pigment in the macula, the aging and thinning of macular tissues, or a combination of both processes.
Wet Macular Degeneration (Neovascular)
Less than 10 percent of patients with dry AMD have it progress to the more advanced and damaging AMD. Wet macular degeneration occurs when new blood vessels develop beneath the retina and then leak fluid and blood and fluid. That leakage results in permanent damage to retinal cells, causing blind spots.
AMD May be Preventable
The best way to avoid the development of early macular degeneration is to use sunglasses that guard your eyes against the sun's damaging UV rays and visible (HEV) radiation. Exercise and eating a healthy diet are also essential for healthy eyes. Research shows that some suspected risk factors include obesity, high cholesterol levels, and coronary heart disease. Smokers who have early AMD are also more likely than non-smokers to have their condition develop into advanced AMD.
How Our Eye Doctors Help Treat AMD and What Should You Expect During Treatment
Nutritional supplements that contain antioxidants and multivitamins contain zeaxanthin and lutein may reduce the likelihood of dry AMD becoming wet AMD which can be sight-threatening.
Treatment for Wet AMD
In addition to prescribing various oral vitamin therapies your eye doctor may also suggest:
- Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) - Between 40 and 60 percent of patients with wet AMD show improvement after having Visudyne drug therapy. PDT involves your doctor injecting Visudyne into your arm and activating it by shining a low-energy laser beam into your eye.
- Lucentis Treatments - Administered via monthly injections into the eye. About one in three of patients who have Lucentis treatments show vision improvement.
Contact Our Local Eye Doctor for AMD Treatment Today!
Associates in Eyecare want you to know the good news is a regular eye exam is your best defense against potential vision loss from AMD.