About Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD or AMD) is the deterioration of the central part of the retina called the macula, which is responsible for crisp, healthy vision. In addition to the decrease in the sharpness of the central vision, AMD can also cause distorted sight, making straight lines appear wavy or curved. There are two types of macular degeneration: dry and wet. AMD is the number one cause of vision impairment and blindness in individuals over the age of 65. Although AMD affects one's central vision, patients generally have sufficient peripheral sight to be able to perform everyday tasks. Unfortunately, there isn't a cure for either type of AMD, but thanks to modern medicine, there are several treatments that are available to improve and manage wet AMD. Call Stone Oak Ophthalmology Center in San Antonio, TX to set up an appointment with one of our board-certified ophthalmologists, Dr. Allison Young, Dr. Kristin Held, and Dr. Teresa Whitney.
"Dr Young is the best! Will never go anywhere else."- J.W. / Google / Aug 25, 2019
"Hands down the best decision you can make for your over all eye health and your vision. Dr. Young and her staff made me feel validated and appreciated. As a patient that’s all you can hope for and more. With Dr. Young’s guidance, choosing the cataract removal with the symfony lens implant has forever changed my view on life.... (see what I did there). :)"- A.K. / Google / Aug 06, 2019
"I highly recommend Dr. Held. Her conscientious and careful approach to her patients is followed by excellent skills and follow up. I highly respect Dr. Held I all respects and stress that she is an amazing woman."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Apr 26, 2019
"Dr. Young and Staff are fantastic. I recently underwent bilateral LASIK without complication and with the utmost care. I felt completely at ease with Dr. Young. She has the combination of skill and stellar bedside manner, I could not ask for more!!"- J... / Google / Apr 16, 2019
"Dr. Young and Staff are fantastic. I recently underwent bilateral LASIK without complication and with the utmost care. I felt completely at ease with Dr. Young. She has the combination of skill and stellar bedside manner, I could not ask for more!!"- J. / Google / Mar 27, 2019
The symptoms for macular degeneration will vary, depending on the specific type and stage of the disease. The dry form is by far the most common of the two and even though there isn't any treatment available, this type tends to cause less dramatic vision loss. Wet macular degeneration is less common and more severe, but there are innovative treatments to delay or stop its progression. Patients with AMD typically experience:
- Loss of central vision
- Distorted vision
- Blind spots
About 10% of people within the ages of 66 – 74 will have findings of macular degeneration, and in those over the age of 75 – 85, this percentage jumps to 30%. Dry macular degeneration develops when there is a collection of abnormal protein deposits and pigment underneath the central area of the retina (macula). These tiny clumps grow very slowly, but over time, they can distort or blur one's field of vision. Wet macular degeneration is the result of abnormal blood vessels that develop underneath the retina. Doctors are unsure of the exact cause of AMD but do know it occurs with advanced age. Other factors may also increase one's risk of AMD, including genetics, obesity, poor cholesterol, and certain cardiovascular diseases.
Although there isn't currently any formal type of medical treatment for dry AMD, a landmark study performed at the National Eye Institute in May of 2013 showed that certain nutritional supplements are useful for slowing down the progression of dry AMD. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) revealed that this delay can be achieved by taking nutritional supplements with a specific high-dose formulation of antioxidants (Vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene), zinc, and copper, in addition to omega-3 fatty acids.
The current treatment for wet AMD consists of an ongoing series of anti-VEGF injections to prevent or slow down the growth of abnormal blood vessels. These injections are delivered into the eye itself to target the vitreous cavity where the blood vessels form. These medications include Avastin, Lucentis, and most recently, Eylea. If wet AMD has progressed to a more severe stage, laser surgery may be recommended to cauterize the blood vessels to stop them from leaking into the retina.
Seek Help Today
At Stone Oak Ophthalmology Center in San Antonio, TX, our seasoned professionals have helped improve the eyesight of countless men and women with AMD. We also educate our clients on how to manage their disease with the use of supplements and omega-3 fatty acids. If you have noticed changes in your vision, contact our office today to get the high-quality care you need to prevent AMD and preserve your eyesight.