Untreated macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in those over 65 years old.
While researchers have not yet discovered a cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), there are treatment options which prevent the disease from progressing to blindness, and in some cases, they can even improve vision. It’s important to have an open discussion with your eye doctor about the risks and limitations of AMD treatments.
According to a 2017 study in JAMA Ophthalmology, 25% of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) cases go undetected, even if patients have regular eye exams. By the time most AMD patients start treatment, it is too late to reverse vision loss.
Types of Macular Degeneration:
There are 2 basic types of AMD, the wet form and the dry form.
- Dry macular degeneration is considered the less aggressive form of AMD. It typically progresses much more slowly, and the level of eyesight damage is less severe. Dry AMD is detected during routine eye exams, which is why it’s important to have yearly testing. Treating Dry AMD often involves high doses of zinc and antioxidants which have been shown to slow diseases progression.
- Wet macular degeneration is the more severe form of AMD. It occurs when there is abnormal blood vessel growth (angiogenesis), and leakage, which can cause scar tissue to develop. Treatments include laser surgery, injecting light sensitive dyes, or AMD medication injected directly into the eye to inhibit angiogenesis.
AMD is an age-related eye disease that runs in families and is a leading cause of blindness in our aging population. There is no cure for this ocular disease, and AMD related vision loss is cannot usually be recovered. There are treatments, and preventative measures that can be taken, if detected early, so routine eye exams are essential.
People with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) often do not know they have the disease during its early stages. They may dismiss early warning signs, like trouble seeing or driving at night, as part of the normal aging process. Ignoring these symptoms only delays diagnosis, which can lead to more unnecessary vision loss.
AdaptDx Test for Age-Related Macular Degeneration
We are among the first eye care providers to offer a new innovative test, the AdaptDx Dark Adaptometer, that helps us diagnose AMD at a very early stage and monitor disease progression. If you are experiencing problems seeing or driving at night or it is becoming increasingly difficult to read in dim light, talk to us about scheduling an AdaptDx test.