Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans, and due to the aging of the U.S. population, the number of people affected by AMD is expected to increase significantly in the years ahead.
Treatments for Macular Degeneration
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular Degeneration — also known as Age-related Macular Degeneration, AMD or ARMD — is the deterioration of the macula, which is the small central area of the retina of the eye that controls visual acuity.
Types of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is diagnosted as either Dry (non-neovascular) or Wet (neovascular). Neovascular refers to the growth of new blood vessels in an area they are not supposed to be.
Dry Macular Degeneration- Dry AMD is the early stage of the disease, which may result in the aging and thinning of the macular tissues and depositing of pigments in the macula. Dry macular degeneration is diagnosed when yellowish spots called drusens begin to accumulate around the macula. It is believed these spots are deposits from deteriorating tissues.
Wet Macular Degeneration - Wet AMD is a response from the body to attempt to create new blood vessels to fix the issues from Dry AMD. Instead of supplying ntrients and oxygen to the retina, these new blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak blood causing permanent damage to the retina. Wet AMD falls into two categories; Occult- new blood vessels are not as pronounced and leak less causing very little vision loss. Classic - Where growth and scarring are prevalent and vision loss is servere.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
People who have early signs of macular degeneration may experience shadowy areas, unusually fuzzy, or distorted vision.
Testing for Macular Degeneration
Somers Eye Center has advanced technology to test people for Macular degeneration, including Optos, OCT, Slit lamp, Fundus photography, and Ultrasonic B-scan. These tool help us identify the progression of the disease and make determinations for treatment.
Patients can download an Amsler grid for at home testing. Mark on the amsler grid where you see any wavy lines or dark spots, if any exist. If you do see distortions or black dots see our Doctors immediately.
Risk factors for Macular Degeneration
Obesity and Inactivity
High Blood Pressure
Lighter eye Color
Drug side effercts
There is no outright cure for AMD but there are treatments that may delay the progression and even improve vision. Nutritional supplements like Maccuhealth have shown to slow the progression of the disease and also improve vision. These supplements contain lutein and zeaxanthin which increases the density of pigments in the macula protecting your eyes from AMD.