Macular degeneration or age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a medical condition that affects the macula or the portion of the eye that is responsible for providing central visual acuity and can result in loss of central vision. It typically occurs in patients over 55 years old. It is not a painful condition and without careful detection, may go unnoticed.
There are 2 main forms of macular degeneration:
- Dry AMD. This form results from atrophy of the macula, or portion of the eye that is responsible for providing central vision. There is no current medical or surgical treatment available for this form of macular degeneration, however you physician may recommend lifestyle modifications, screening tools, or specialized vitamin supplementation. Even though there is no exact treatment available, this condition should be monitored routinely for progression or development of wet AMD, which there are some treatments available.
- Wet AMD. This form is also called neovascular or exudative AMD. This form of AMD has development of abnormal blood vessels or leakage of fluid under the retina. Left untreated, the bleeding and leakage from these blood vessels will lead to scarring and irreversible damage to the macula, resulting in loss of vision. Fortunately, there are now treatments available. These treatments are typically performed under the care of a retinal specialist, however our physicians are capable of screening for this form of AMD.
If you have macular degeneration, you should be followed with routine examinations by an ophthalmologist. You doctor will recommend any special dietary supplements and a schedule for follow-up examinations. Smoking cessation is recommended for everyone, especially those with macular degeneration as studies suggest that smoking increases the rate of progression of the disease. If you develop wet macular degeneration, you will likely be recommended to have treatment intervention with either an injection of special medication into the eye or laser eye treatment. These are commonly performed by a retinal specialist but can be detected by examination in our office.
Contact our office to learn more about Macular Degeneration/Pterygium or to make an appointment.