Macular Degeneration, often referred to as age related macular degeneration or AMD, is the leading cause of blindness in individuals over the age of 65.
The macula is the center of the retina responsible for central vision tasks such as reading.
Macular degeneration usually affects both eyes and is progressive.
There are two types of macular degeneration; dry and wet. Dry AMD is slowly progressive and may cause mild to moderate blurring and vision loss.
Wet AMD results from the growth of abnormal blood vessels underneath the macula. This may cause rapid loss of vision.
Early intervention can usually prevent severe vision loss. Unfortunately, many patients are not diagnosed with macular degeneration until later stages of the eye disorder, when treatment is not as effective. Early detection is key, allowing for quicker and more effective treatment of the eye disease.
AMD is more prevalent in Caucasian females with a gene variant, hypertension, and smoking. All cases of AMD begin dry. In this stage of the disease, yellow deposits (drusen), appear in macula. Increasing amounts of these deposits can cause blurred vision, most noticeable when reading.
Both dry and wet macular degeneration can cause blurred vision, but wet AMD more often causes the sudden onset of distortions.
Most patients have dry macular degeneration. Over time, patients with dry AMD develop blurred vision which glasses cannot correct. This process can take years.
Wet macular degeneration develops when abnormal blood vessels grow in between the layers of the retina, behind (under) the macula. These vessels leak fluid into the retina causing more blurred vision and distortions, which may develop in days or weeks – much quicker than the more benign “dry” type.
Although both dry and wet macular degeneration cause blurred vision, the symptoms of distortion are more common with wet AMD.
The symptoms to look for are:
As our elderly population grows, so does the prevalence of blindness due to AMD. While there is no cure, Dr. Sebag and Dr. Chong of the VMR Institute offer the latest and most effective treatments for macular degeneration available today.
A common treatment for wet macular degeneration involves injection of “anti-VEGF” medications into the eye. These can significantly slow the progression of wet AMD in 95% of cases and improve vision in 40% of cases. At VMR Institute, we use the latest anti-VEGF therapies including Avastin, Lucentis and Eylea.
Early detection is important, so at the VMR Institute we provide an array of the most modern technologies that ensure an accurate diagnosis and quick treatment. Most of the time, we can even treat on the same day as diagnosis.
Contact the VMR Institute for Vitreous Macular Retina to learn more about macular degeneration treatment in California and screenings.