Treatment for Macular Degeneration is Vital to Long-Term Vision

Macular degeneration is one of the more serious eye diseases that ophthalmologists screen their patients for. This condition is especially prevalent among older adults, progressively diminishing their central vision. Because of this prevalence, the disease is typically referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In this condition, overall visual acuity is diminished due to the ongoing deterioration of the macula, the central part of the retina at the back of the eye. The macula is involved in all of the activities we may engage in, from reading to working on the computer to watching television to recognizing the faces of loved ones. These are activities we all want to enjoy throughout our lifetime, which is why treatment for macular degeneration is so important.

What We Need to Discuss

Doctors never want to frighten their patients. At the same time, it is critical that we spread awareness about the serious nature of macular degeneration. According to statistics, age-related macular degeneration affects approximately 10 million Americans at this time. Experts predict this estimate to increase to approximately 18 million people by 2050. Being the leading cause of vision loss in older people, these are numbers we need to know.

It is also necessary to discuss the fact that macular degeneration cannot be cured. With proper care, however, the prognosis for patients diagnosed with this condition can be good. In some instances, vision has been improved with appropriate treatment. To develop a successful treatment plan, we must first identify which type of macular degeneration has developed.

There are two types of macular degeneration, wet and dry forms. Dry macular degeneration, the most common form, may manifest as drusen, yellowish spots around the macula. These spots indicate the deterioration of macular tissue. Wet macular degeneration involves the growth of new blood vessels that leak fluid and blood around the retina. This form of the disease is often a progression of dry macular degeneration.

Treatments for Macular Degeneration

The earlier that macular degeneration can be detected, the better. The current therapy for dry AMD is to support eye health with vitamins and supplements. Treatment for wet AMD may involve intraocular injections that inhibit the formation of new blood cells under the retina. Each course of care is tailored to meet the individual needs of the patient.

The best way to manage macular degeneration is to, first, know your risk and, second, maintain routine eye exams. To schedule a visit at our Chester, NJ office, call 908.879.7297.15

Posted in: Macular Degeneration

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