Macular degeneration is a very common eye disease in people aged 65 and older and it’s a leading cause of vision loss worldwide. There are different treatment options available which will be explained below.
Macular degeneration comes in two types: dry (atrophic) and wet (neovascular). Dry macular degeneration is the more common of the two, accounting for about 80-90% of macular degeneration cases. It occurs when the macula thins over time, leading to blurry vision or blind spots in your central vision. If you're experiencing blurry vision or blind spots in your central vision, it's a good idea to look for a low vision specialist for an evaluation. On the other hand, wet macular degeneration happens when abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina, leaking fluid and causing rapid central vision loss.
While macular degeneration is not curable, the good news is that there are various treatment options available. Each type of macular degeneration has different treatment approaches. As your eye care professional, it's crucial for me to help you understand these treatments to help you make informed decisions.
Dry macular degeneration treatment is primarily focused on slowing its progression and managing symptoms. Unfortunately, there's no cure yet for this condition. But research is ongoing, and promising prospects are on the horizon. If you're looking for a low vision optometrist to discuss treatment options, we're here to help at our clinic.
A significant part of dry macular degeneration treatment involves taking specific nutritional supplements. Studies have shown that vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper can slow the progression of the disease in people with moderate to severe macular degeneration.
Another crucial part of managing dry macular degeneration includes making specific lifestyle changes. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding smoking can go a long way in managing this condition. Regular check-ups at our eye care clinic are also critical.
Unlike dry macular degeneration, there are more treatment options for wet macular degeneration, which aim to stop or slow the growth of those abnormal blood vessels and limit the damage they cause.
The most common wet macular degeneration treatment involves injections of drugs known as anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) agents. These drugs stop new blood vessel growth and reduce the leakage of fluid that leads to macular damage. Regular injections of these drugs can help stop and even reverse vision loss in many people with wet macular degeneration.
Photodynamic therapy is another option for treating wet macular degeneration. This treatment involves injecting a light-sensitive drug into the bloodstream and then shining a laser into the eye to activate the drug. The drug destroys the abnormal blood vessels without causing significant damage to surrounding tissues.
If you're in need of such treatments, it's important to visit our qualified low vision specialist for the best outcomes.
If you don’t already have a trusted optometrist, you could start your online search by typing in phrases such as "low vision specialist near me," "low vision optometrist near me," or "eye specialist near me."
Understanding this eye disease and consulting your eye doctor is so crucial to properly treat macular degeneration. When detected early enough, damage from AMD can be prevented by taking the proper precautions. If the condition has advanced to a stage that could cause vision loss, there is effective treatment which directly blocks the source of the damage. Please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at our office so you can be checked for macular degeneration and provided the proper treatment when necessary.