Macular Degeneration Treatment

Table of Contents

Macular degeneration is a breakdown in the macula, an area in the retina responsible for fine details. There are two forms: dry and wet macular degeneration; most patients can maintain good reading vision with dry macular degeneration.

Eye care specialists can detect early symptoms of macular degeneration through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Their professionals look out for signs like medium-sized yellow deposits called “drusen,” located under the retina.

Early Detection

Macular degeneration occurs when part of the retina called the macula begins to deteriorate, which affects central vision – this allows us to see straight ahead, read, drive safely, recognize faces and colors, etc. There are various strategies you can employ to help prevent macular degeneration such as visiting an eye doctor regularly for wellness exams and eating plenty of dark leafy green vegetables, yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables, fish and vitamin C-rich food sources like dark chocolate.

Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is an age-related condition that causes central vision loss due to retinal damage. There are two main forms: dry and wet macular degeneration; most people with ARMD suffer from the dry form, in which parts of the macula become thinner as we age, leading to tiny protein clumps known as drusen to form beneath it. Since it doesn’t produce symptoms at its early stages, regular eye exams should be scheduled so as to detect progression of this form.

Wet ARMD is less common but more serious, often leading to faster loss of central vision. This form is caused by abnormal blood vessels under the retina that bleed or leak fluid, and treatment involves injecting patients with fluorescein dye for injection into their veins; this enables an eye doctor to detect any leaking or bleeding vessels and use laser surgery on them.

At present, there is no cure for wet macular degeneration; however, early detection and treatment can slow its progress. Routine eye exams and following an appropriate diet are key factors in managing wet ARMD; additionally there are medication such as bevacizumab, ranibizumab and pegaptanib that can help with stopping abnormal blood vessel growth in wet ARMD.


Macular degeneration, or macular atrophy, refers to deterioration or breakdown of the central portion of your retina (the thin layer at the back of your eyeball that controls central vision) that results in blurriness or dark areas within your field of vision. It can make reading, driving a car and performing other activities that require straight-ahead vision more challenging; however, peripheral vision remains unchanged, and most people still retain useful visual abilities even at advanced stages of macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration comes in two distinct varieties, dry and wet. Ninety percent of cases fall under the dry category; deposits called drusen build up under the retina to cause gradual central vision loss over time. Although symptoms usually progress slowly during this stage, most patients can maintain reading vision but may experience blurriness and difficulty threading needles or performing other detailed work such as sewing thread.

An angiography procedure allows your eye care specialist to see whether abnormal new blood vessels are developing beneath your retina – known as wet macular degeneration. By injecting yellow dye into veins in your arm and taking pictures as it travels through blood vessels beneath it, they will be able to assess whether there are new abnormal vessels forming, providing information as to their presence or absence in your retina.

Wet macular degeneration is less frequent but still serious, occurring when abnormal new blood vessels form beneath the retina and leak fluid into the macula. If this is occurring to you, it is very important that you contact us as soon as possible and schedule an appointment so we may be able to administer medication that inhibits new vessel growth and limits leakage of fluid into the macula. We may be able to reduce further vision loss through administering drugs that inhibit such development of new vessels as well as lessening further vision loss by administering new medication that inhibiting their formation while simultaneously decreasing leakage of fluid into macula.

Amsler Grid

The macula, located at the central area of an eye’s retina, provides straight-ahead visual clarity that enables people to read, drive cars and recognize facial features and objects around them. Unfortunately, however, age-related macular degeneration puts strain on this region of vision; early diagnosis could prevent progression to “wet” macular degeneration which is more dangerous and severe.

An Amsler grid can help detect changes to this vital part of the eye by offering patients an easy way to test themselves using this simple grid. By holding up their glasses at a comfortable reading distance and focusing on the center dot with their unprotected eye, they can test whether any lines or areas appear blurry, wavy or dark; should any differences arise they should immediately schedule an appointment with their ophthalmologist.

At an office visit, doctors can conduct a comprehensive exam and evaluation of the macula with photographs and dye studies designed to detect leakage from retinal blood vessels (fluorescein angiogram). Furthermore, many ophthalmologists advise their patients to view an Amsler grid regularly at home to detect early signs of degeneration; this may signal it is time for treatment such as antioxidant vitamins (lutein and zeaxanthin), fish oil capsules or medications in order to halt progression from dry macular degeneration into wet AMD and preserve sight.

Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements are pills, tablets or liquids consumed to supplement one’s diet and improve their health. Examples of such nutritional supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs, meal supplements, sports nutrition products and natural food supplements – each used to increase nutritional content in diet, reduce risks associated with illness or injury and enhance performance during physical or mental activities.

Macular degeneration is a condition that occurs when light-sensitive cells of the macula cease functioning properly, leading to blurry and distorted central vision. It’s one of the leading causes of severe vision loss among those over 55, though it doesn’t lead to complete blindness.

Macular degeneration occurs most commonly as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This form forms gradually as yellow protein deposits known as drusen increase in size and darken, eventually blurring or distorting central vision. On the other hand, wet macular degeneration – much less commonly encountered – occurs when abnormal blood vessels form under the retina that leak fluid or even start bleeding into central vision.

Studies suggest that eating a diet rich in dark leafy greens and yellow and orange fruits and vegetables could reduce your risk of AMD or slow its progression. Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants naturally found in eyes but also found in food sources like kale, collard greens and raw spinach could prove especially helpful.

However, nutritional supplements alone cannot cure macular degeneration and won’t reverse any vision loss that has already taken place. To best prevent advanced macular degeneration from developing further it is recommended to maintain a nutritious and well-balanced diet, limit sun exposure, and receive routine eye exams.


The macula on our retina provides sharp central vision that allows us to read, drive, use a computer or smartphone, recognize faces and colors, perceive fine details and recognize faces in photos. When macular degeneration takes hold, however, our center visual field may become clouded over and it becomes difficult to perceive objects with clarity.

Medication may help slow the progression of macular degeneration and, in some cases, even improve vision. Oral or injection medications can be taken to slow progression by blocking abnormal blood vessel growth which contributes to vision loss in wet macular degeneration; additionally they reduce fluid leakage from these new blood vessels, helping repair some damage caused by their fluid-leaking mechanisms and reverse some damage done to macula caused by leakage of fluids into its environment.

Lucentis and Avastin have both been approved by the FDA as treatments for wet macular degeneration, according to studies. Studies show that injections with these two drugs significantly decrease vision loss for wet AMD patients by targeting proteins responsible for new blood vessel formation; additionally they may reverse damage caused by leakage of fluid and scar tissue build-up on macula cells.

Rarely, wet macular degeneration may be treatable using painless laser light therapy that destroys abnormal blood vessels beneath the retina, to stop or slow vision loss but will likely not restore lost central vision.

Preventing macular degeneration through diet alone is best accomplished with a varied and balanced diet that includes plenty of green leafy vegetables (kale and raw spinach are particularly effective), healthy fats from fish and nuts, and supplements containing lutein or zeaxanthin, both powerful antioxidants that protect against free radical damage to eyes.

About the Author:
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Alexander Suprun

Alex started his first web marketing campaign in 1997 and continues harvesting this fruitful field today. He helped many startups and well-established companies to grow to the next level by applying innovative inbound marketing strategies. For the past 26 years, Alex has served over a hundred clients worldwide in all aspects of digital marketing and communications. Additionally, Alex is an expert researcher in healthcare, vision, macular degeneration, natural therapy, and microcurrent devices. His passion lies in developing medical devices to combat various ailments, showcasing his commitment to innovation in healthcare.


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