About Macular Degenerative Disease

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    Dry Macular Degeneration

    • The dry form of macular degeneration is the most common type and starts gradually. You may notice symptoms such as needing a brighter light to read or work, increased blurriness when reading, a haziness over your field of vision and a blind spot in your central area of vision. One eye may remain fine for years while the other suffers from vision loss. This form of degeneration occurs when light-sensitive cells in the macular start to deteriorate.

    Wet Macular Degeneration

    • The wet form of macular degeneration can occur suddenly. You might notice straight lines that appear wavy. When this occurs contact your eye professional immediately so that he may monitor your condition. The condition occurs when abnormal blood vessels develop behind the retina and start growing under the macula. These blood vessels are weak and will leak blood causing damage to the macula.

    Diagnosis

    • A regular eye exam can reveal early signs of macular degenerative disease. Your doctor will want to see the extent of the damage to your eye with a fluorescein angiography. In this procedure you are injected with a dye into your arm and photographs are taken of the back of your eye. The dye will highlight the blood vessels in your retina and reveal any changes to the macular pigmentation or blood vessels.

    Wet Macular Degeneration Treatment

    • Treatment for wet macular degeneration may include laser surgery, photodynamic therapy, and injections. In laser surgery the high energy beam may be able to destroy the abnormal blood vessels. Photodynamic therapy involves an injection of a drug called verteporfin that travels to the abnormal blood vessels in your eye. A cold laser is then shone into your eye which activates the drug destroying the abnormal blood vessels. You should avoid sunlight or bright indoor light five days after treatment. Anti-angiogenesis drugs are injections into the eye that slows down or prevents the abnormal blood vessels from forming.

    Dry Macular Degeneration Treatment

    • There is no way to reverse damage caused by dry macular degeneration, but according to the National Eye Institute taking a high-dose of antioxidants such as vitamin C, E and A along with zinc and copper may reduce the risk of advanced macular degeneration.

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