Macular Degeneration, News

Woman holding a manIf you search the web for “Age Related Macular Degeneration”, you’ll find an abundance of information about this common eye condition. While the search results can be very helpful, they can also be incredibly overwhelming. Here are the top three things you need to know about Macular Degeneration.

#1 – What is Age Related Macular Degeneration?
Age Related Macular Degeneration (also referred to as AMD) occurs when the central part of the retina, known as the Macula, deteriorates. Unfortunately, the macula plays an important role in vision, specifically providing central vision that allows us to see objects straight ahead.

There are two different types of Age Related Macular Degeneration – Dry AMD and Wet AMD.

Most patients suffering from this eye disease have Dry AMD, which is considered an early stage. Dry Macular Degeneration is diagnosed by the presence of yellow deposits, called drusen, on the back of the eye. Patients with Dry AMD may notice gradual vision loss, however it isn’t normally as severe as patients with Wet AMD.

Wet Macular Degeneration is less common and affects approximately 10% of the patients suffering from Macular Degeneration. This more advanced stage can produce increased damage, resulting in more severe vision loss. This occurs when blood vessels grow under the retina, leaking fluid and blood, causing significant damage to the retina cells around it.

#2 – What are the Symptoms of Age Related Macular Degeneration?
The progression of this disease can vary from patient to patient. Some folks notice a rapid loss of vision, while others may not notice any vision changes for a long period of time.

According to the American Optometric Association, below are some common symptoms of Age Related Macular Degeneration.

• Gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly.
• Objects appear distorted in shape. Straight lines look wavy or crooked.
• Loss of clear color vision.
• A dark or empty area appears in the center of vision.

#3 – Are there Treatment Options for Macular Degeneration?
Sadly, the visual damage that occurs as a result of Macular Degeneration is generally irreversible. There currently is no cure for Dry Macular Degeneration, however research suggests that a healthy nutritional diet may slow vision loss, and prevent or slow progression to the Wet AMD stage.

Although there is no cure for Wet Macular Degeneration, there are a few treatment options that may help to restore some vision, and aim to halt further vision loss. These treatments include medications, injections, laser surgery and the CentraSight Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT).

If you’ve yet to hear about the IMT procedure, it’s a new treatment program that utilizes a tiny telescope to improve the vision and quality of life for patients with End-Stage AMD. We are pleased to offer this cutting-edge technology at Minnesota Eye Consultants. For more information about this treatment program, visit or call 1-877-997-4448.

With any eye disease, prevention is key. Make sure to see your family eye doctor for regular eye exams, and be sure to disclose any information about recent changes in your vision.

Sources: American Optometric Association, National Eye Institute, All About Vision.