Macular Degeneration

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Wet or Dry? Both Treatable

Causes of Macular Degeneration

While rare cases do occur at young ages, many older people develop macular degeneration as part of the body's natural aging process. Often called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it is deterioration at the center of your retina –the macula. This tiny part of the retina is sensitive to the critical details needed for clear central vision.

Signs and Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

The disease takes on two forms — dry and wet. With either kind, trademark symptoms are blurred or distorted central vision or a blind spot in the center of your view. Peripheral vision is usually not affected, and therefore complete blindness can normally be avoided.

 

  • Dry form macular degeneration: Most people with macular degeneration have the dry form, which progresses slowly as light-sensitive tissues in the macula thin out and break down, gradually blurring your central vision. The dry form occurs in three stages before advancing to the more damaging wet form.

 

  • Wet form macular degeneration: At this stage, abnormal blood vessels begin to grow under the retina. These can leak blood or fluid that damages the macula and leads to rapid loss of central vision.
  • Macular Degeneration: Introduction

  • Intravitreal Injections: Overview

For emergency or time sensitive appointments, call 913-261-2020
or 1-800-742-0020 (toll free).

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The scheduling department is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will contact you by 5 p.m. the next business day to confirm appointment details.

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  • Thorough dilated exam to address eye medical conditions.
  • Examples: cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration.
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Sabates EYE CENTERS Retina Specialty Group

Diagnosis of Macular Degeneration

The disease often emerges in only one eye, making it difficult for people to notice vision loss because the better eye takes over. Macular degeneration is detected during a comprehensive eye exam. If signs of the dry form are discovered, you’ll be given a special grid test to use at home and help you recognize early changes in your vision, one eye at a time. You should call your ophthalmologist immediately if any changes are noticed. On the next visit, we may order one or more tests that tell us how well your retina is functioning and whether any abnormal blood vessels are present, indicating the wet form of the disease.

 

Treatment of Macular Degeneration

 At this time, there is no FDA-approved treatment for dry macular degeneration, though certain vitamin supplements can often slow down how quickly it advances to the wet form. (Sabates Eye Centers and the Vision Research Center are currently participating in a clinical trial for a drug that treats the dry form.) The wet form is treatable, however. A relatively painless technique is used to inject specially developed medications into the eye. They inhibit the growth of new blood vessels and work to dry up excess fluid within the retina. In some cases noninvasive, laser-assisted surgical techniques may be used to help drain the fluid buildup.

 

Macular Degeneration Surgery Recovery and Expectations 

While little can be done to improve vision in people with macular degeneration, the rate of vision loss can be slowed with early detection. Even with macular degeneration, you can still maintain an enjoyable lifestyle. The keys to slowing vision loss are understanding the disease, monitoring your symptoms and visiting your ophthalmologist regularly.