As the leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older, macular degeneration destroys the part of your eye that allows you to see objects clearly. If you have symptoms of macular degeneration, it’s important to see a professional for help. IC Laser Eye Care, with three locations in Bensalem and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Hamilton, New Jersey, offers expert diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration. To learn more, call your nearest office.
Macular degeneration is a condition that causes the light-sensitive cells in the macula to degenerate. Patients typically notice blurring of their central vision or gray, distorted areas in the center of their vision.
Other patients notice distorted vision or dimmed vision, often citing wavy lines in their vision. This is the most common cause of vision loss in the United States.
Macular degeneration can be dry (non-neovascular/atrophic) or wet (neovascular/exudative). Dry macular degeneration occurs in about 90% of the patients with this condition. This occurs when small, round particles (drusens) form under the retina and cause thinning and degeneration of the retina.
Wet macular degeneration is more rapid and occurs when abnormal blood vessels under the macula begin to grow. They can leak or bleed, leading to scarring of the macular and permanent vision loss.
Age is the most common risk factor of this condition, as your risk increases as you get older. Other risks include:
If you think you're at risk of developing macular degeneration, you should contact IC Laser Eye Care.
Dry macular degeneration has no cure. Patients at risk for this condition need to seek management care and prevention to protect their vision. However, wet macular degeneration has seen great strides in treatment in recent years.
At IC Laser Eye Care, the team offers laser technology and drug treatments for wet macular degeneration. Injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor, including medications like Avastin, Lucentis, and Eylea, are the most promising therapy for wet macular degeneration.
These medications are given as injections through the outside of the eye to bind the proteins that cause the growth of abnormal blood vessels. This can stabilize vision in more than 90% of patients.
A second treatment option is photodynamic laser therapy. This therapy selectively destroys abnormal blood vessels to prevent wet macular degeneration. It involves a medication, verteporfin, infused into the vein to destroy the blood vessels developing behind the macula.
The best treatment for macular degeneration is not treatment, but prevention. Patients can help protect their vision by following a healthy diet, reducing their weight, quitting smoking, and protecting the eyes from sunlight.
Patients with high blood pressure or cholesterol levels should use the medications their medical doctors recommend to control these conditions.
For other information regarding preventing macular degeneration, call IC Laser Eye Care.