Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. It creates vision loss in over 10 million people more than cataracts and glaucoma combined. The macula is a structure in the retina that is responsible for central vision. When a person looks directly at an object the light rays are striking the macular region. Age related macular degeneration comes in two different forms. Dry AMD is by far the most common. It occurs when parts of the macula begin to thin and microscopic protein deposits called drusen appear. In most case this type of AMD is slow to progress..
Wet AMD is by far the most devastating form. It occurs when new abnormal blood vessels begin to grow under the retina. This causes the vessels to leak blood and other fluids causing damage, sometimes irreversible, to the macula. Wet AMD is far more aggressive than Dry AMD and vision loss occurs at a faster rate.
Three Stages of AMD
• Early AMD-At this stage the majority of people do not experience any vision loss.
• Intermediate- Minimal, slightly noticeable vision loss occurs at this stage.
• Late AMD- Noticeable vision loss.
Risk Factors of AMD
• Family History
• Race- More likely in caucasians
• High Fat Diet
At McKinney Eyeworks we routinely treat macular degeneration. Diagnosis and treatment is determined by a battery of tests. Testing begins with a fundus examination upon which if any macular changes further testing begins. This testing includes Optical Coherent Tomography (OCT), visual field analyzation and fundus photography. First line treatment usually begins with nutritional supplements. We routinely prescribe AREDS II vitamins that are high in lutein, zeanthin, and zinc. The more aggressive wet form may in some case requrie laser treatment or anti-VEGF injections. Anti-VEGF drugs help reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels in the retina. Schedule an appointment today for a comprehensive eye examination at McKinney Eyeworks to ensure your eyes are healthy!