Untreated macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in those over 65 years old.
While researchers have not yet discovered a cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), there are treatment options which prevent the disease from progressing to blindness, and in some cases, they can even improve vision. It’s important to have an open discussion with your eye doctor about the risks and limitations of AMD treatments.
Types of Macular Degeneration:
There are 2 basic types of AMD, the wet form and the dry form.
- Dry macular degeneration is considered the less aggressive form of AMD. It typically progresses much more slowly, and the level of eyesight damage is less severe. Dry AMD is detected during routine eye exams, which is why it’s important to have yearly testing. Treating Dry AMD often involves taking specific supplements to help oxygen to get to the macula.
- Wet macular degeneration is the more severe form of AMD. It occurs when there is abnormal blood vessel growth and bleeding, which can lead to swelling and death of the tissue in the macula. Treatments include injection of a medicine to kill the abnormal blood vessels to stop the bleeding and laser surgery. These procedures are performed by a retinal specialist. The newer medicines that are injected have been shown to slow or stop the progression of the disease. Careful follow-up by our doctors is required.
AMD is an age related eye disease that runs in families, and is a leading cause of blindness in our aging population. There is no cure for this ocular disease, and AMD related vision loss cannot usually be recovered. Yearly examinations are recommended for anyone over 40 to detect many eye diseases, not just macular degeneration.
If you have diabetes, you need to know that having this systemic disease puts you at greater risk for developing vision problems.