Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

What You Should Know About AMD
Macular degeneration is an eye condition in which the macula, a sensitive area in the retina responsible for central and detailed vision, is damaged, often causing loss of central vision.

Prevention

  • Regular eye exams by your Eye M.D. Your Eye M.D. is specialty-trained to detect many vision-threatening conditions even before you develop symptoms. The earlier problems are detected, the better the chance of preventing vision loss.
  • Protection from UV-A and UV-B rays. Some studies have suggested that prolonged or frequent exposure to UV-A and UV-B rays may be a factor in macular degeneration and other eye conditions, so always wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV rays when outdoors.
  • Proper nutrition. High levels of zinc and antioxidants can play a role in slowing the progression of macular degeneration. A healthy diet can’t hurt and can prevent many other health problems.

Treatment

  • "Dry" form - The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that a specific combination of vitamins (zinc, copper, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E) was helpful in slowing the progression of AMD in advanced cases.
  • "Wet" form-Laser surgery, photodynamic therapy, and intravitreal injections may help in addition to low vision rehabilitation.
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves the injection of the FDA-approved drug, VisudyneTM) into the bloodstream, followed by a brief laser treatment. The laser "activates" the drug, which helps destroy abnormal blood vessels in the eye that damage the macula. Several treatments may be necessary for it to be effective.
  • Intravitreal injections of steroids (Kenalog, Triescence) and anti-VEGF (Avastin, Lucentis) may help the abnormal blood vessels that form in the macula with wet AMD to regress to preserve vision.

Unproven Treatments

Be wary of any treatment that promises to restore vision, cure, or prevent macular degeneration. There are many so-called "miracle cures" advertised (often in magazines or on the Internet) that have not been adequately tested for safety or efficacy. These treatments may be expensive and are generally not covered by insurance. If you are considering trying a new or untested treatment, make sure you talk to your Eye M.D. to ensure that it is safe and won't interfere with timely and effective treatment of other eye problems.

 

Current Research

There is a great deal of research and several major scientific studies being conducted to find the causes of AMD and to develop effect treatment for all types of AMD. Visit the National Eye Institute website for additional information: www.nei.nih.gov

 

Blepharoplasty for Droopy Eyelids

Blepharoplasty is surgical for droopy eyelids. Excess tissue such as skin and fat are removed or repositioned, and surrounding muscles and tendons may be reinforced. It can be both a functional and cosmetic surgery.

 

Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty

In upper eyelid surgery cases, an incision is made externally in the upper eyelid crease to remove surplus eyelid skin and fat. The incision is then closed with fine sutures. Since the incisions are made in the eyelids’ natural contours, they are hardly visible and most often fade with time. There may be a slight amount of bruising and swelling following surgery, but this is usually gone within seven to ten days. Patients can usually resume work within three to four days after the procedure.

 

Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a health condition where the eye progressively has diminished ability to focus on near objects with age. Presbyopia's exact mechanisms are not known with certainty. The research most strongly supports a loss of elasticity of the eye's crystalline lens, although changes in the lens's curvature from continual growth and loss of power of the ciliary muscles (the muscles that change the shape of the lens) have also been considered as causes.

 

Similar to grey hair and wrinkles, presbyopia is a symptom caused by aging. The symptoms (described below) are usually first noticed between the ages of 40-50. The ability to focus on near objects declines throughout life, from an accommodation of about 20 dioptres (ability to focus at 50 mm away) in a child, to 10 dioptres at 25 (100 mm), and levels off at 0.5 to 1 dioptre at age 60 (ability to focus down to 1-2 meters only).

Our physicians are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of presbyopia. Call for an appointment at the first indication that your near vision seems to be changing. Early detection will help you determine the best plan for your vision.