MACULAR DEGENERATION

Macular DegenerationAge-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) affects more than 1.75 million patients in the United States, a number which is expected to increase to 3 million by 2020. AMD treatment has undergone significant advances in the last decade. We perform comprehensive eye examinations with OCT (Ocular Coherence Tomography) to assess for progression of macular degeneration. We also ask patients to monitor their vision with an Amsler Grid and call the office immediately with any signs of symptoms including loss of vision, decreased vision, distortion or sudden onset of blind spots.

We commonly recommend that patients consider antioxidants and mineral supplements in accordance with the NIH Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2). A healthy diet includes green leafy vegetables and sources of caretenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin) and omega-3 fatty acids. Blood pressure control, smoking cessation and ultraviolet-B blocking sunglasses also help to maintain retina health. This has been shown to reduce the 5-year risk of advanced AMD development.

We work closely with our retina colleagues to optimize our patients retina / macular health and well being. Macular degeneration which becomes advanced or “wet” may need additional retina therapy (Anti-VEGF injections such as Lucentis, Avastin, and Eylea). Studies have shown that Anti-VEGF therapy may stabilize vision in more than 90% of patients and improve vision in more than 30% of patients.

Cataract surgery has recently been shown to improve vision in patients who have mild, moderate or advanced macular degeneration. Macular degeneration affects 1.75 million patients and cataracts 20 million patients in the United States. The combination of cataracts and macular degeneration can lead to significant quality of life issues, including the risks of falling, fractures and depression. We will continue to monitor patients for cataract, glaucoma and overall eye health.

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