More than 2 million Americans age 50 and older currently suffer from late-stage age-related macular degeneration, and millions more have the early indicators of the disease. Mary Mendelsohn, MD, FAAO,Alyson Yashar, MD, FAAO, and the ophthalmology experts at Woodcliff Lake Ophthalmology, LLP, understand the importance of early detection and monitoring to preserve your vision when you have age-related macular degeneration. They’re here to help with every stage of the disease, so call the office in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, or book an appointment online now.
Age-related macular degeneration is a condition that causes the central part of your retina, the macula, to start breaking down.
This condition can lead to severe vision issues, and over time can cause central vision loss. There are two main categories of age-related macular degeneration, dry and wet.
Overwhelmingly the most common form of this condition, dry age-related macular degeneration affects around 80% of sufferers. This condition causes a buildup of drusen, a type of protein, within your macula as you age. The drusen weakens and thins your macula. Dry age-related macular degeneration causes gradual central vision loss.
In about 20% of macular degeneration sufferers, the dry form of the disease progresses to the more serious wet form. In wet age-related macular degeneration, you develop abnormal new blood vessels beneath your retina.
Commonly, these weak blood vessels rupture or leak, which releases blood or other fluid into your eye. The fluid scars your macula and can trigger rapid vision loss.
In the dry form of the disease, it's quite common to have no obvious symptoms in the beginning. But, as the disease progresses, you might notice the following issues.
Your Woodcliff Lake Ophthalmology provider always checks for the early signs of age-related macular degeneration in your comprehensive eye exams so they can diagnose and manage the condition even before you develop symptoms.
Vitamin and mineral supplements “AREDS-2” formula successfully slows the progression of dry macular degeneration. There is no treatment to reverse retina that has degenerated, but research is making progress on regrowing retina, and transplanting retina.
Wet macular degeneration can be successfully treated by eye injections every few weeks to months. This stops the damaging, abnormal blood vessels from growing into the retina. The injection contains anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which are proven to diminish abnormal blood vessels and reduce leakage in your eye. Other injectable therapeutics and laser can also be effective.
Anti-VEGF injections can stabilize your vision and could even improve it. This type of intraocular injection also treats diabetic eye disease, retinal vein occlusion, macular edema, and other serious eye conditions.
To learn more about macular degeneration care from the Woodcliff Lake Ophthalmology team, call the office or use the online booking tool now.