Many eye diseases present with no detectable signs or symptoms until they’ve already caused irreversible damage; Age-Related Macular Degeneration (or AMD) is no exception. Though there is no outright cure for AMD, treatments are available to slow down the progression, and minimize the devastating effects.
Although you may not notice any symptoms yourself, our office is specially equipped to screen for and discover the early warning signs of AMD. The best way to avoid the devastating effects of AMD is to catch it early through regular eye exams.
More Information About AMD
What is AMD
AMD is the deterioration of the macula – the part of the retina that helps us read, drive, and recognize detail. This condition is the leading cause of vision loss in older patients. Although AMD is typically a result of aging, there is research to suggest there is a genetic component as well.
Macular Degeneration can be divided into two different types.
Dry Macular Degeneration
The dry form of macular degeneration is the more common of the two. This diagnosis is usually made when deposits of drusen (deteriorating tissue) start to accumulate on the retina, impeding the patient’s ability to see.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Though the wet form of macular degeneration is more rare, it usually results in much more significant vision loss. Wet macular degeneration happens when new blood vessels grow under the retina, leaking blood and fluid, obscuring the patient’s vision.
Treatment for AMD
Ultimately, there is no cure for AMD. There are, however, a number of treatments that seem to aid in slowing down the progression of the disease.
Proper nutrition goes a long way in preventing advanced AMD. Vitamins and supplements can help to reduce the risk of vision loss. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to the treatment of AMD, so we recommend regular exercise and quitting smoking to all our patients. These things will not reverse the damage already done, but they may slow down progression of AMD.
A special form of laser therapy can help slow down the progression of wet age-related macular degeneration. Doctors use laser light to kill off and hinder the growth of new blood vessels. This prevents leakage from causing further damage to retina.
This therapy was developed specifically to treat particularly advanced cases of AMD. Every month, the patient receives an injection directly into their eye. The injection works to inhibit growth of any new blood vessels, preventing any additional leakage.
Proactive Eye Care is the Best Weapon Against AMD
By making some lifestyle changes, you can decrease your risk of developing AMD. Here’s a few suggestions to get you started:
- Quit smoking
- Exercise and watch your weight
- Take supplements with antioxidants and zinc
- Book your annual eye exam