Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration Treatment

Table of Contents

Treatment of dry macular degeneration focuses on prevention through nutritional supplements containing carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin found in green leafy vegetables and fish oils.

Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels form abnormally below the macula and leak blood and fluid into it, leading to blind spots or permanent vision loss. This form can create small blind spots or permanent loss.

Medications

Medication plays an integral part of treating both wet and dry macular degeneration. They’re administered directly into the eye to stop blood vessel growth and stop any bleeding; one such drug, known as anti-VEGF (anti-vascular endothelial growth factor) prevents abnormal blood vessels from growing beneath the retina and leaking fluid into the macula, causing blurry central vision. Though they cannot reverse vision loss caused by wet macular degeneration, they can slow its progression.

Studies suggest that diets high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin may lower your risk of wet macular degeneration, found in green leafy vegetables, dark fruit, nutritional supplements and green tea extract. These vitamins and minerals may act as natural defense mechanisms against oxygen-charged molecules known as free radicals which damage eye cells over time.

Although wet ARMD is less common than its dry form, it can be more serious as it can lead to permanent blindness. Wet ARMD forms when macula thins out and tiny protein clumps called drusen begin accumulating under the retina; as these grow larger or cluster together further your risk increases considerably; it is crucial if you suspect wet macular degeneration as soon as possible and immediately contact an eye care provider.

Early signs of wet macular degeneration include straight lines becoming wavy or an opaque spot in the center of your vision. People suffering from wet ARMD often lose central vision as well as reading, driving or recognising faces; however they don’t lose peripheral vision and may require assistance with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning and shopping.

Recent research has led to the discovery of anti-angiogenic agents, an injectable medication designed to inhibit VEGF production.

This new drug has shown promise in clinical trials for wet ARMD; however, more testing must take place before being recommended to the general population. We look forward to providing updates as the results of these studies become publicized.

Fluorescein Angiography

Fluorescein angiography uses fluorescent dye to help your doctor evaluate blood flow within the retina and choroid layers that make up the back of the eye, to detect abnormalities such as blockages or leaks in these structures. You must sit still during this test with your head supported on a support bar, before eye drops are administered to make pupil larger before series of pictures taken using an ophthalmic camera, followed by further photos after injecting an orange-red dye into one vein in your arm.

Age related macular degeneration is a progressive disease that gradually damages the central portion of your vision known as the macula, eventually blurring or completely losing it in this area. There are two forms: dry and wet macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration results from new, abnormal blood vessels growing beneath your retina that leak fluid or cause rapid loss of straight forward vision.

As part of your treatment for wet macular degeneration, medication will likely be injected directly into your eye to slow the growth and leakage of abnormal blood vessels. Such anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs include Lucentis, Avastin and Eylea; they have proven significant effectiveness for patients suffering from wet macular degeneration; while these treatments cannot restore vision lost from wet macular degeneration they can slow further progression while improving quality of life.

Laser therapy may be suggested for wet macular degeneration to destroy abnormal blood vessels that leak under the retina and to treat leakage of abnormally formed capillaries under it. However, only certain individuals qualify as candidates. If laser therapy is available to you and meets certain criteria, your ophthalmologist will discuss its benefits and risks with you before performing it painlessly but may cause temporary irritation to the surface of your eyes and requires eye protection against light exposure during treatment.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

OCT provides high resolution cross-sectional images of retinal microstructure in high definition. Similar to ultrasound B-mode imaging, but using light waves instead of sound waves. OCT has become a crucial part of modern ophthalmology by providing diagnostic information about retinal structures including thickness and distortions due to macular degeneration as well as fluid or leakage from blood vessels associated with wet macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration is one of the main causes of vision loss among adults over 65, caused by damage to the central part of the retina called macula and leading to blurred central vision. Macular degeneration tends to progress gradually over time and patients with it may experience straight ahead or central vision loss while still possessing peripheral (side) and color vision capabilities.

About 85 percent of macular degeneration cases are the dry type, which involves the gradual thinning of the macula and yellow deposits called drusen. Progression for dry ARMD tends to be slower than its wet counterpart and most patients still maintain good reading vision; wet ARMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels begin growing underneath the retina, leaking blood and fluid that leads to rapid vision loss or even blindness.

Medication may help slow the progression of wet macular degeneration by stopping abnormal blood vessels from growing and leaking. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs like ranibizumab (Lucentis), bevacizumab (Avastin), and pegaptanib (Macugen) have proven very successful at treating wet ARMD and have significantly enhanced some patients’ vision.

Laser light surgery may be used in cases of wet ARMD when blood vessels grow too rapidly to nourish the retina, with laser light surgery known as photodynamic therapy or PDT being employed to destroy these blood vessels and improve vision in some patients. Your eye doctor can suggest nutritional supplements which could help delay macular degeneration such as Vitamin C, E, Lutein Zeaxanthin Zinc Copper.

Laser Surgery

At least 85 percent of those suffering macular degeneration have the dry form, where drusen forms behind the retina and macula thins slowly over time, often still maintaining good reading vision. 10 percent have wet macular degeneration where abnormal blood vessels grow beneath retina and leak fluid rapidly causing rapid central vision loss requiring immediate medical intervention to restore visual acuity; treatment options in such cases are far more complicated.

New treatments for wet macular degeneration work by inhibiting abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage. These anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents include Eylea (aflibercept), Lucentis (ranibizumab), and Avastin (bevacizumab). All three agents are intravitreal injections into the eye that bind with the VEGF protein and inhibit its activity while providing photosensitizing substances used along with laser to destroy neovascularization; local anesthetic drops are usually used prior to injections to minimize discomfort during injections.

Regular eye exams and additional testing can help your eye doctor detect macular changes early, and slow the progression of vision loss. One such ancillary test, fluorescein angiography, provides a snapshot of what’s happening within the blood vessels of your retina – orange-red dye is injected through veins in your arm into retinal blood vessels before being photographed as it travels across your retinal blood vessels with special cameras taking pictures as the process occurs – showing any new blood vessel growth occurring under the retina.

Optical coherence tomography scans can also help in identifying new blood vessels beneath the retina, so your doctor can schedule laser surgery to destroy abnormally leaking vessels in painless laser light – this may stop vision loss temporarily but is unlikely to restore lost central vision.

Macular degeneration occurs slowly over time, yet early diagnosis and treatment can significantly slow the rate of vision loss. Regular visits to your ophthalmologist, additional tests such as fluorescein angiography or optical coherence tomography as well as taking vitamin supplements may help protect both eyesight and quality of life.

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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