Macular Degeneration, also referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is the leading cause of permanent visual impairment in the world. If left undetected, it can result in permanent vision loss. But if detected early, a number of options exist to treat it.
Medical treatment with vitamin supplements has been shown, in a 2001 study, to reduce the rate of progression in moderate to advanced macular degeneration. Supplements proven to be effective are vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, as well as zinc and copper. A person with a history of smoking should not take high doses of beta-carotene, as it has been associated with higher rates of lung cancer.
Frequent observation of central vision through the use of an Amsler grid (see image at right) assists in monitoring for changes. When changes are noticed on the Amsler grid, patients should contact Claris for an appointment so that a proper evaluation can be made.
Direct laser treatment of wet macular degeneration is used to stop leakage of blood or other fluids into the macula. This acts like a “spot weld” of the leaking blood vessels, sealing them permanently. However, close followup is needed by Amsler grid observation at Claris to identify any potential new leakage sites.
Injection of medications into the eyeball to directly stop the growth of leaking blood vessels can be very effective to stabilize a person’s vision. This procedure is done by a retinal specialist in close working relationship with Claris Eye Care & Surgery. Frequent followup visits and additional treatments are common with this option.