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What can I do about Macular Degeneration?

Macular Degeneration is an age related eye disease that causes loss of central vision and typically comes in two forms known as dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. If you are over the age of sixty years old and have not had a routine eye exam it is highly suggested that you schedule an eye exam to look for early signs of this degenerative eye disease.

Macular Degeneration

Dry Macular Degeneration
The most common type of macular degeneration is the dry form of this disease in fact it affects about 90% of the cases seen by ophthalmologists.  When you have this
type, there are deposits, called drusen, under the retina, or degeneration of the layers under the retina (atrophy) with loss of photoreceptor function.  Vision can range from minimal changes with the presence of drusen to severe loss with advanced atrophy.  Dry macular degeneration can sometimes progress to wet AMD.  There is no treatment for dry type of AMD, but prevention of progression to wet AMD is possible with a healthy diet and AREDS multivitamins.

Wet Macular Degeneration refers to the presence of fluid or blood under the macula due to the formation of abnormal blood vessels under the retina (choroidal neovascularization).  With wet AMD, vision can rapidly decline and it is this type that is responsible for severe vision loss.  Early detection and treatment are critical for preventing further loss of vision.  Unfortunately, the disease is a chronic problem with a high rate of recurrence, and patients generally require multiple treatments over time.  Fortunately, new treatment modalities are improving our ability to preserve vision for longer periods of time.