Patients suspecting they may have macular degeneration should see the highly qualified team of doctors at Ford Eye Center in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas. Early diagnosis and treatment are key for patients suffering from this disease of the macula, impacting central vision.
In macular degeneration, the macula (a structure in the back, center of the eye responsible for central vision) breaks down, causing a loss of central vision.
Patients suffering from macular degeneration may experience these common symptoms:
In the vast majority of cases, macular degeneration is caused by age and referred to as AMD (age-related macular edema). In some cases, it can be caused by the use of certain medications including Thorazine, Mellaril, Trilafon, Prolixin, Stelazine, or Aralen.
Those at highest risk of developing macular degeneration include patients who:
There's no known sure way to prevent macular degeneration, but the following measures might help:
These measures promote overall macular health.
The vast majority of patients suffering from wet AMD, which simply results from the aging of the macula. About 10% of patients with macular degeneration suffer from dry AMD, which is characterized by the growth of new blood vessels in the eye. These blood vessels leak fluid that damages the macula.
In most cases, macular degeneration is treated by injecting medication into the eye at regular periodic intervals (every 4-8 weeks in most cases). While many patients experience anxiety before their first administration, it's important to know that numbing drops are used to diminish sensation during the injection. The medication works to prevent the growth of new abnormal vessels inside the eye, which in turn prevents the damage these vessels cause to the retina. In many cases, patients report not only no progression but improved vision. Also, wet AMD is sometimes treated with a laser procedure called photocoagulation.