Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a condition that primarily affects people

age 60 and over. This condition is caused by the deterioration of

the macular, which is responsible for making your central vision 

sharp. Patients who develop this condition may have difficulty

seeing things directly in front of them, reading fine print, and

driving. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is caused by

genetic and environmental factors so it is important to inform 

your ophthalmologist about your family medical history. 

There are two forms of Macular Degeneration - dry and wet.

Dry AMD

Patients with this form of AMD may develop yellow deposits, called drusen, in their macula. These can be viewed with optical coherence tomography done in-clinic. As the drusen get bigger, they can cause your vision to be distorted. As the condition progresses, the light-sensitive cells in your macula deteriorate. 

Wet AMD

This form is less common than the dry form - accounting for 10% of people with macular degeneration. However, the dry form can lead to the wet form. This form of AMD is caused by blood vessels that grow from underneath your macula that leak fluid and blood into your retina. These pockets of fluid can be viewed by optical coherence tomography done in-clinic. The bleeding causes the vision to be distorted, causing the patient to see wavy lines. Blind spots in the central vision are common with this condition. The bleeding of the blood vessels eventually forms a scar, which may lead to permanent loss of central vision. 

Treatment

There is no cure for age-related macular degeneration, however, treatment focuses on the prevention of progression of the disease. This can also mean restoring some vision that has been compromised. Treatment depends on the type of macular degeneration. Our ophthalmologists may recommend injectable medications, lifestyle changes, or nutritional supplements. 

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