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Retina Topics

 

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a condition where the retinal pigment layer deteriorates, leading to other problems under and in the sensory layer of the retina.

Who gets macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an extremely common problem, usually associated with advanced age. There are some families in which it occurs earlier, in the middle years. Environmentand diet are additional risk factors for this problem.

What are the symptoms?

Blurry vision, troube seeing detail and reading, distortion or wavy vision can all be indications of macular degeneration, but may occur in other conditions as well. Call and make a prompt appointment if youy experience any of tghese symptoms.

Dry

The "dry" form precedes the "wet," although only a minority of patients will develop the "wet" form.

Treatment for Dry Macular Degeneation

Avoid high fat foods and smoking, to wear sunglasses outside and to take a particular combination of anti-oxidants called the "AREDS" formula, proven to reduce the likelihood of dry macular degeneration proceeding to severe vision loss. This treatment is effective only in individuals who actually have the condition, it has not been shown to prrevent getting dry macular degeneration.

Wet

The "wet" form occurs when the pigment layer deteriorates so badly that it allows swelling fluid or blood from the "choroid" (beneath the pigment layer) to ooze through the pigment layer to the space under the sensory retina. The oozing blood vessels are called "choroidal neovascularization." In hte last few years, many patients with this aggressive form of macular degeneration have been stabilized by treatment, and maintain useful reading vision. In the past, treatment was really not very effective.

Treatment for Wet Macular Degeneration

In addition to the measures for dry macular degeneration, periodic injections of Lucentis or Avastin are highly effective in appropriate individuals.