The macula is a part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our central vision is clear and sharp. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the arteries that nourish the retina harden. Deprived of nutrients, the retinal tissues begin to weaken and die, causing vision loss. Patients may experience anything from a blurry, gray or distorted area to a blind spot in the center of vision.
AMD is the number-one cause of vision loss in the U.S. and one of the leading causes of adult blindness and visual impairment. Macular degeneration doesn’t cause total blindness because it doesn’t affect the peripheral vision. Possible risk factors include genetics, age, diet, smoking and sunlight exposure. According to a study done by Healio, because age is such a major risk factor, it is estimated that more than 5.44 million people will be affected by the disease by 2050.
Regular eye exams are highly recommended to detect macular degeneration early and prevent permanent vision loss.
Symptoms of macular degeneration include:
- A gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
- A gradual loss of color vision
- Distorted or blurry vision
- A dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision
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There are two kinds of macular degeneration: “wet” and “dry.” The “wet” form can be treated in its early stages. The “dry” type of macular degeneration is typically more prevalent, though there is not currently a treatment to slow or stop the progression of advanced dry AMD.
Prescription medicine for the treatment of patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is also available, and may include:
LUCENTIS® is a revolutionary treatment designed to slow vision loss in patients with neovascular (“wet”) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is an FDA-approved treatment specifically developed for the treatment of wet AMD. It works by stopping the body from producing VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), a chemical that makes abnormal blood vessels grow. This not only preserves the vision patients have now, it also may prevent future vision loss. LUCENTIS injections are given in a series of treatments spaced six weeks apart for a time determined by our doctors.
For more information, visit the LUCENTIS website at www.lucentis.com
EYLEA®is a solution which is injected into the eye (intravitreal injection) by your doctor with local anesthesia (freezing) to treat the eye conditions neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration – (wet) AMD, macular edema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion or diabetic macular edema (DME).
For more information about EYLEA®, visit www.eylea.com
Avastin® is a medication that can reduce swelling in the macula, prevent further vision loss and even improve vision for some patients with AMD. It works by stopping the body from producing VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), a chemical that makes abnormal blood vessels grow. Avastin was originally developed to treat colorectal cancer and is FDA-approved for that purpose. However, studies have shown that Avastin can also effectively treat AMD and related eye conditions, and many ophthalmologists now offer it to their patients. Avastin is given in a series of injections about 4-6 weeks apart.
For more information about Avastin, visit www.avastin.com
Please contact us to learn more about your options.