Macular Degeneration, also known as Age related macular degeneration (ARMD), is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over the age of 60. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates over time. There are two types of macular degeneration, wet and dry, each of which have different treatment plans.
The physicians at Outlook Eyecare use state of the art equipment for the detection and treatment of macular degeneration. Dr. Grabowski, our fellowship trained retinal specialist, uses the most up to date techniques for macular degeneration treatment including the use of Lucentis and Eylea injections for the wet form.
Macular degeneration is a progressive eye condition affecting the macula. The macula is a precise area of the retina that controls how sharply and accurately you perceive objects in your central vision. When the macula is impaired, your central vision can become constricted or blurred. We offer a number of effective options for both treating its symptoms and slowing its progression.
The most common risk factor for macular degeneration is age. The disease frequently affects people over 55, with Caucasians being slightly more susceptible than people of other ethnicities.
In addition to age and ethnic background, a genetic component may also contribute to the development of macular degeneration. Obesity and cardiovascular issues are risk factors for developing the disease as well, and smoking increases your risk significantly. If you’re a smoker, quitting now can reduce the chances of developing macular degeneration.
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This eye disorder includes 2 distinct variants: dry and wet.
By far the most common form of the disease, dry macular degeneration is typically diagnosed early and is generally related to the aging process. When eye tissue breaks down, yellow spots called drusen can develop and cause blurry vision. Your ophthalmologist can identify drusen on your retina during a regular eye exam. An accumulation of these spots can lead to macular degeneration. If left untreated, dry macular degeneration can progress to the wet variant of the disease.
Vision loss with macular degeneration is typically quite gradual. Symptoms include disturbances in your central vision, such as dark spots or fuzziness. Some people retain their central vision but experience other visual disturbances, such as difficulty with night driving or having trouble reading.
Also called “neovascular macular degeneration,” wet macular degeneration is less common and more severe than the dry condition. This form of the disorder gets its name because it occurs when abnormal blood vessels under the retina begin to leak, releasing blood and other fluids that damage the retinal cells. We offer effective treatments to improve the symptoms of wet macular degeneration.
Several drugs exist to effectively treat macular degeneration, including Lucentis® and EYLEA®. This drug therapy is especially adept at treating the wet variant. In most cases the drug is injected into the eye monthly or bimonthly. The therapy typically works by targeting vascular endothelial growth factors, or VEGFs. The drug inhibits VEGFs from creating new blood vessels and can significantly reduce vision loss.
Technological advancements such as the Implantable Miniature Telescope are best for people with more severe cases of macular degeneration. These incredibly small devices are implanted within the retina. The telescope magnifies central vision images and redirects them to undamaged areas of the eye so they are visible. Studies have shown that this tiny apparatus significantly improves vision for many people with advanced macular degeneration.
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