What You Need To Know About Macular Degeneration
Have you or someone you know recently been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? If you’re like most, you probably don’t know a lot about the condition.
Today we’ll discuss risk factors, symptoms and treatment options for those who are suffering from macular degeneration.
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
AMD is a relatively common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people who are aged 50 or older. It damages the macula, which is a small spot near the center of the retina and the part of the eye required for sharp, central vision.
In some people, AMD advances at such a slow rate that vision loss does not occur for quite some time. In other cases, the disease progresses much faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes. As the condition progresses, sufferers often experience a blurred area near the center of their vision that grow larger over time. Some people develop blank spots in their central vision and objects may not appear to be as bright as they previously were.
Macular degeneration by itself does not lead to complete blindness, however, the loss of central vision can interfere with simple everyday activities, such as the ability to see faces, drive, read, write or do close work.
What Are The Types Of AMD?
Dry AMD: This form is pretty common; in fact, approximately 8 out of 10 people who have age-related macular degeneration have the dry form. This occurs when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen develop creating a slow loss of central vision. There is currently no way to treat dry AMD.
Wet AMD: This type is less common but far more serious. Wet AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels develop under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids and result in scarring of the macula. You lose vision faster with wet AMD than with dry AMD.
Who is at risk for age-related macular degeneration?
The six risk factors we can control include:
- Artificial fats typically labeled as “partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils”;
- A diet high in processed, packaged foods and low in fresh vegetables;
- Uncontrolled hypertension and high cholesterol;
The four risk factors we can’t control:
- Advanced age;
- A gene variant that controls inflammation;
- Family history.
How is AMD treated?
Dry AMD: Right now, there is no way to treat the dry form of AMD. However people with a significant amount of drusen or serious vision loss might benefit from taking a certain combination of nutritional supplements. Studies found that those people may slow their dry AMD by taking a combination of vitamins and minerals.
Wet AMD: To help treat wet AMD, there are medications called anti-VEGF drugs, which help decrease the number of abnormal blood vessels in your retina. It also slows any leaking from blood vessels and is delivered to your eye through a very slender needle.
Laser surgery may also be used to treat some types of wet AMD. Your eye surgeon shines a laser light beam on the abnormal blood vessels to reduce the number of vessels and slows their leaking.
If you feel that you may be suffering from the effects of age-related macular degeneration, have questions about the condition and would like a second opinion on your glaucoma treatment or if you are interested in homeopathic or alternative treatments please go to www.healingtheeye.com for further information.
We may have the solution you’re looking for. Call our office today to schedule a consultation!