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Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Click here to find out the American Academy of Ophthalmology's view on age-related macular degeneration.
What is macular degeneration?
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of 50. It affect the center of retina or macula which is responsible for sharp central vision. When we are reading, watching TV, or looking at faces, we are using our macula to see.
What are 2 types of macular degeneration?
AMD often starts as “Dry” AMD which causes specific structural changes in the macula. These changes may slowly progress and cause distortion in vision or loss of vision. The rate of progression is different in each individual: some may never notice any change in their vision and some may completely lose their central vision within a few years.
About 10% of Dry AMDs may turn into Wet AMD. Wet AMD is when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula. These blood vessels can suddenly bleed and form scars and cause severe loss of vision and often legal blindness. The key to prevent vision loss is early diagnosis. Routine eye exam allows early diagnosis and treatment of Wet AMD. If you are above the age of 50, have a family member with macular degeneration, or have not had an eye exam recently, contact us today to make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam.
How is macular degeneration diagnosed and treated?
Macular degeneration is diagnosed by dilated eye exams and imaging techniques including fundus photography, fluorescein angiography (dye test), and optical coherence tomography (OCT).
There is no cure for AMD. Dry AMD is treated by AREDS2 formula of eye vitamins, daily check with Amsler grid, avoiding smoking, and regular follow-ups with ophthalmologist in order not to miss Wet AMD in early stages.
Wet AMD is currently treated with intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF medications (e.g. Avastin, Lucentis, and Eylea).