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Macular Degeneration

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease caused by damage or breakdown of the macula, the small part of the retina that is responsible for central vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over the age of 65. There are two forms of macular degeneration, exudative (“wet”) and atrophic (“dry”). Most cases are dry AMD, which results from thinning of the macula. Wet AMD is when abnormal vessel formation under the retina causes leaking fluid and blood. Occasionally dry AMD can turn into wet over time. Treatment options will depend on your diagnosis.

Risk factors of Macular Degeneration are:

  • Age (65+)
  • Family history
  • High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease
  • Smoking

Symptoms

A blind spot in the center of your vision and decreased vision are the most common symptoms of macular degeneration.

Treatment

While there is no cure for macular degeneration, there are a variety of therapies and treatments available to help stabilize the condition.

For dry AMD, a dietary supplement with vitamins C, E, beta carotene, zinc and lutein may lower some patients risk of disease progression. Vitamin supplements are not a cure for AMD, nor will they restore vision already lost from the disease. However, they may play a role in helping some people at high risk for advanced AMD to maintain their vision. We recommend the AREDs II formulation of Preservision for our patients.

For wet AMD, injections and/or laser treatments are available, depending on your individual diagnosis and response to therapies. Three major brands of injectable medications are Eylea, Lucentis and Avastin. Injections are given on a regular basis with varying frequencies and results. Our specialist, Dr. Met, will choose the best treatment plan for your specific visual needs.

What to expect during your first injection

Please plan on being here for approximately 1-2 hours

Dr. Met and a technician will be in the room for the entirety of your injection. During the procedure, a technician will recline you in the exam chair to ensure comfort and stability. Dr. Met will use a topical anesthetic to numb the surface of the eye, along with betadine to cleanse the eye. A lid speculum is put in place to prevent you from blinking. Dr. Met will discuss if any post-procedural drops are necessary.

Before your appointment:

  • Bringing a driver is highly recommended
  • Please do not wear any eye makeup the day of your appointment
  • Bring sunglasses with you to your appointment as one or both eyes will be dilated

After care:

  • Do not rub the eye
  • If an antibiotic eye drop is prescribed, please take as directed
  • Take regularly prescribed eye medications as usual; you are allowed to use artificial tears if irritation occurs
  • Stay out of dusty environments for at least 24 hours.
  • You can shower regularly
  • Avoid swimming pools or hot tubs for about 24-48 hours.

Common side effects after the injection:

  • Floaters or bubbles
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage (blood on the white of eye). More common if you are taking blood thinners.
  • Mild decrease in vision
  • Eye irritation/soreness

Please call if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Severe pain
  • Significant decrease in vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Swelling/signs of infection- discharge, bleeding, redness
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