Macular degeneration is often called age-related macular degeneration, or AMD. It is the #1 cause of severe vision loss in people over 50. It is the deterioration or breakdown of the macula. The macula is a small area in the retina at the back of the eye that allows you to see fine details clearly and perform activities such as reading and driving. When the macula doesn’t function correctly, blurriness, dark areas, or distortion can affect your central vision. Macular degeneration affects your ability to see near and far, and can make some activities, like threading a needle or reading, difficult or impossible. It can cause different symptoms in different people and in the early stages, macular degeneration is barely noticeable, and can affect only one eye.
The Types Macular Degeneration
There are two main types of macular degeneration. The dry form tends to progress slowly but can result in significant loss of vision. Vitamin supplements may be helpful in slowing down the progression of the dry form. The wet form is the more devastating, more rapidly progressing form.
What are my Treatment Options for Macular Degeneration?
Laser treatment and Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) have been shown to be beneficial in select patients. Two new medications have become available in the last year that has offered new hope. They are Avastin and Lucentis. Both drugs are injected into the eye. For the first time we have a treatment that can not only stabilize vision in patients, but can actually improve vision in a significant number of people. At Hillsboro Eye Clinic we offer these new treatments in our office. Other options available in order to maintain a satisfying lifestyle include the prescription of optical devices. Since macular degeneration usually does not affect side vision, the remaining sight can be useful. There are support services and rehabilitation programs available as well.
For additional information, visit: