MACULAR DEGENERATION

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50. This disease occurs when there is progressive damage to a small portion of the retina, called the macula. The macula is the area of the retina where we see our best, where we get our 20/20 vision. In macular degeneration, the macula becomes unhealthy, which leads to central vision loss. There are two main forms of macular degeneration, dry and wet. The disease starts in the dry stage and can progress to the wet stage later on in the disease, although severe vision loss can occur in either the dry or wet stage.

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

 

In its early stages, there may be no symptoms at all. As the disease progresses, symptoms can include:

  • Blurred central vision.

  • Objects appear distorted.

  • Straight lines look wavy or crooked.

  • A dark or empty area in the center of vision.

Causes of Macular Degeneration

 

The cause of macular degeneration is not fully understood. Although, we do know it is highly associated with several risk factors.

 

  • Increasing age

  • Smoking cigarettes

  • Obesity

  • Hypertension

  • Family history of AMD

  • Exposure to damaging UV light

Treatment of Macular Degeneration

 

In dry macular degeneration, there is, unfortunately, no treatment. However, through much research, we do know that there is a link between nutrition and the progression of dry AMD. This knowledge indicates changes in nutrition and taking nutritional supplements can slow vision loss. Wet macular degeneration occurs when fluid leaks from newly formed blood vessels under the macula. Fortunately, we do have treatment for this in the use of intraocular injections of anti-VEGF medications. These medications stop the leakage and prevent more new blood vessels from forming, which slows or stops the wet stage of AMD. Talk to our doctors about which nutritional supplement is best for you and your eyes. We may also recommend a genetic test to further evaluate your risk factors. Not only does this genetic test tell us your risk percentage, but it also recommends the best nutritional supplement based on your genetic makeup.