Macular Degeneration Management

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Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a condition that affects your retina. It happens when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged.

With ARMD you lose your central vision. You cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far. But your peripheral (side) vision will still be normal.

ARMD is very common. It is a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years or older.

Who Is at Risk for ARMD?

You are more likely to develop ARMD if you:

  • eat a diet high in saturated fat found in foods like meat, butter, and cheese

  • are overweight

  • smoke cigarettes

  • are over 50 years old

  • have high blood pressure

  • have a family history of ARMD

  • have light colored eyes

There are two types of macular degeneration:

Dry macular degeneration is quite common. About 80% of people who have ARMD have the dry form. Dry ARMD is when parts of the macula become thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen grow. You slowly lose central vision. There is no way to treat dry ARMD yet so early detection is key to slowing down its progression.

Wet macular degeneration is less common but much more serious. Wet ARMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. You lose vision faster with wet ARMD so early detection is crucial through regular eye exams.

If you have a family history of eye diseases, or have light colored eyes, a wellness check for your eyes is recommended. The doctors at Site to See are trained in the detection and management of age-related macular degeneration.

Treatments Options for ARMD

While there's currently no cure for age-related macular degeneration studies have shown there are a few options to slow progression.

 

For Dry ARMD there's a benefit from taking a certain combination of nutritional supplements. A study called AREDS 2 found people with certain drusen may slow their dry ARMD by taking these vitamins:

  • Vitamin C (500 mg)

  • Vitamin E (400 IU)

  • Lutein (10 mg)

  • Zeaxanthin (2 mg)

  • Zinc (80 mg)

  • Copper (2 mg)

Interestingly, eating dark leafy greens, yellow, orange, red fruits and vegetables, fish, and a balanced, nutrient-rich diet have been shown beneficial for people with ARMD.

For Wet ARMD, Anti-VEGF treatment helps reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels in your retina. It also slows any leaking from blood vessels. Laser surgery may also be used to treat some types of wet ARMD. 

If age-related macular degeneration is a concern, the eye doctors at Site to See will discuss management options with you after performing a thorough retina exam to see the current condition of your eyes.