What is Macular Degeneration and How Common is it?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition in which the central portion of your retina tissue, the macula, deteriorates, causing central vision to be blurry and distorted.
There are two major types of macular degeneration called “dry macular degeneration” and “wet macular degeneration.” Both forms can cause vision loss, but the wet type is more rapid and aggressive.
In dry macular degeneration, tiny mounds of yellowish material accumulate in the retina and can damage the sensitive nerve cells. These mounds are called drusen. In many cases, the drusen only cause minor damage and result in mild vision loss. Nutritional supplements and antioxidant vitamins and minerals may reduce the chance of more damage (AREDS II or Age Related Eye Disease Study part II). These vitamins can be bought in drug stores and supermarkets and are sold as Ocuvite or I-CAPS among other brands.
In wet macular degeneration, abnormal blood vessels grow and leak under the retina. These blood vessels usually cause more severe damage to the nerve cells and can sometimes bleed. Over the past few years major advances have occurred for the treatment of wet macular degeneration. New drugs such as Avastin, Lucentis, Eylea
and Macugen can stop the growth of these vessels. Early detection is key to the treatment of wet macular degeneration. If you experience any central loss of vision or distortion come see us right away.