Wet AMD

Dry AMD

​There are two kinds of macular degeneration, wet and dry.  More than 90% of patients diagnosed with macular degeneration have the dry form.  Dry macular degeneration is characterized by a slow course (over many years) of retinal thinning and loss of function.  Early signs of macular deneration can be signified by drusen, which are yellow deposits found underneath the retina.  The symptoms can vary from no vision loss to an empty spot in the center of the vision.  Wet macular degeneration is characterized as the development of abnormal blood vessels called choroidal neovascular membranes that can grow and cause vision loss by bleeding, leaking of fluid, and scarring the retina.


Dry AMD


We recommend regular eye exams and diagnostic testing to evaluate, monitor, and treat macular degeneration.  Typically macular degeneration does not cause complete vision loss, and patients maintain their peripheral vision.  There is currently no cure for patients with macular degeneration.  Smoking can cause worsening of AMD.  A healthy diet with green vegetables and fish can help your retinal health.  The risk of vision loss from some forms of AMD can be decreased with nutritional supplements called AREDS 2.  The vision should also be monitored at home daily using an Amsler grid.


Wet AMD


Treatment for wet macular degeneration has undergone amazing changes over the last 10 years.  Before that time, vision loss was inevitable and the treatment options were poor.  Now, with medications that are vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors, over 90% of patients can be helped.  Anti-VEGF agents are targeted against the irregular blood vessels in wet AMD, and anti-VEGF injections have been established at the standard of care for this disease.  The injections do not cure the disease, and require repeat treatments as often as monthly for an indefinite period of time to produce the best results.  The eye is numbed and patients tolerate this procedure very well with minimal pain.

RETINAL DISEASES AND TREATMENTS

AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD)

RETINAL DISEASES AND TREATMENTS

The part of your eyesight that is responsible for your central vision is called the macula.  We use our central vision for activities such as reading, watching TV, and driving.  Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central vision, and is the leading cause of vision loss in the United States of patients 50 years and older.