Macular degeneration is a disease that affect the central area of the retina. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) effects your central vision, so a patients actual acuity or “resolution” immediately starts to decrease. Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and severe and irreversible vision loss in the developed world. In 10-15% of cases, bleeding can occur into the retina (Wet AMD), which can result in sudden central vision loss and scarring. Central vision loss may occur in the more common (85-90% of cases) “dry” type of macular degeneration, without bleeding, but usually occurs gradually. Dry AMD can lead to wet AMD at any stage or progress to advanced Dry AMD.
This is a very difficult disease to treat. Unlike glaucoma, we do not have a simple drop or medication that we can put inside the eye. With Macular Degeneration the goal of treatment is to slow down the disease. Taking supplements can help some, but conflicting evidence indicates that they do not necessarily help a great deal. Other Treatments are the following:
|Laser treatment (Wet AMD)||Injectable medication (Wet AMD)|
|Special dietary supplements may be recommended, to slow the progression of macular degeneration (Dry AMD)||Magnification aids|
|Eat good diet including leafy dark green vegetables||Do not smoke – Smoking is super bad for this disease|
|Annual eye examinations– detection is key in initiating diet and nutritional aids|
Your optometrist may give you a grid pattern (Amsler grid – see below) for regular home monitoring, to detect any distortions or dim areas in your vision which may indicate progression of the disease. If changes occur you should see your optometrist ASAP.