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 and Dr. Jana Waters.
"I am so please that I was recommended to this office as well to Dr. Allison Young. The office and the personal are professional and cheerful. I have Sjögren’s Syndrome which drys everything in your body. I honestly though I was going blind and I was seeing another ophthalmologist in a huge chain operation and it seems like I was going in every three months. I honestly couldn’t see. Dr Young saw me on the first visit and explained that I had a very large cataract in my right eye and it needed to be removed. I was extremely petrified but Dr. Young has the type of additive you want every Doctor to have. It was such an easy operation for me, Dr. Young said that it was so big it took her awhile to get it out. The difference was amazing I see amazing I was so amazed how little I was seeing before. So excited to get the other eye done. The after care was just as through as the pre-op. I recommend this Ophthalmology Center and Dr. Young. Today is January 8th of 2021 and the day before this I had a very gritty feeling in my right eye when I woke up. Just thinking it was my Sjogren's I put in the eye drops and it helped but I had double vision for the day. Knowing I could call Stone Oak Ophthalmology and find out if I need to see a Dr or just find out what I could do. They wanted to get me in but I live a across town and they got me an appointment right away the next day. I saw Dr. Whitney and just like Dr. Young, she took her time took the tests (she explained each test and her reason for taking them) and ended up finding out that I had Shingles in my right eye. I was then told it was a very good thing that I came in because it could be worse the longer you wait. I trust this office and my eye health whole heartily. I have always been treated with respect, professionalism, COVID responsible and I know my appointment was done to it's fullest to help both of us to understand what is happening with my eyes. Again I was afraid my eyesight was going to be gone and I have walked in there and them out knowing everything was being done that could be done. I also got to meet another one of these wonderful Doctors. Thank you Dr. Whitney, I'm not thrilled with having Shingles but thank you for informing me that getting the Shingles Shot is not a 100% it just makes it less infectious. I maybe miserable but it could of been a lot worse with out your insisting we do the testing and your hands on care it could be worse. If you are someone who needs an Ophthalmologist this is the group to go to."- R.P. / Google / Jan 08, 2021
"I love Dr. Young she’s definitely a great professional and friendly! Her concerns for my eye health is a priority. The Office Staff is professional and friendly too. I would highly recommend her."- C.E. / Facebook / Jul 15, 2020
"I am so please that I was recommended to this office as well to Dr. Allison Young. The office and the personal are professional and cheerful. I have Sjögren’s Syndrome which drys everything in your body. I honestly though I was going blind and I was seeing another ophthalmologist in a huge chain operation and it seems like I was going in every three months. I honestly couldn’t see. Dr Young saw me on the first visit and explained that I had a very large cataract in my right eye and it needed to be removed. I was extremely petrified but Dr. Young has the type of additive you want every Doctor to have. It was such an easy operation for me, Dr. Young said that it was so big it took her awhile to get it out. The difference was amazing I see amazing I was so amazed how little I was seeing before. So excited to get the other eye done. The after care was just as through as the pre-op. I recommend this Ophthalmology Center and Dr. Young."- R.M. / Google / Jun 02, 2020
"Dr. Whitney is excellent, caring and very professional. Her staff is professional, helpful and caring. Dr. Whitney’s surgery provided me with a 20/20 vision and I’m very grateful for that. I highly recommend."- R.C. / Google / Nov 27, 2020
"Dr. Teresa Whitney performed cataract surgery on both my left and right eyes in August 2020, and she did an absolutely AWESOME job! Like many, I was terrified of the procedure, and had deferred it for many years, until I was nearly blind - OK, I was legally blind. With GREAT anxiety, I submitted myself to Dr. Whitney's care, and I emerged from the first surgery absolutely amazed at the results. I was back her table a week later for the other eye, FAR less concerned with both the procedure and the outcome. I am now 20:20 in both eyes, no longer need glasses of any kind, and have for the first in over a decade, had the eyeglass restriction removed from my driver's license! I can honestly say, I'm very sorry that I have but only two eyes, or I'd be a repeat patient. Thank you, Dr. Whitney, for restoring my eyesight!!"- M.D. / Google / Sep 14, 2020
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.