Macular degeneration is an umbrella term for many conditions. It is therefore not surprising that macular degeneration is not the same for everyone. Some people see a blurred or dark spot, which is everywhere you look. For others, macular degeneration reveals itself by distortions of the image. Also, the progress of macular degeneration can be different. In the majority of cases (the dry form), the process is slow.
That makes it difficult for many to people to figure out when starting to see worse. In other cases (the wet form), the process can go very quick. You will see from one day to another distortions in the image, and the vision decreases sharply. The various forms of macular degeneration all have one thing in common. Due to failure of the light-sensitive cells in the macula (yellow spot) vision declines sharply.
In most cases there is medically little or nothing to do with the degeneration process. A reassurance is that it rarely leads to complete blindness. For those with macular degeneration, and his / her environment, it is, therefore, important to learn how to deal with the limitation of vision.
Is it possible to treat macular degeneration?
A possible treatment depends strongly on the type of macular degeneration. In recent years, opportunities have arisen to treat certain types of macular degeneration. Most of these modern treatment techniques are designed for wet macular degeneration and they primarily combat the effects of the disease, but do not eliminate the cause of macular degeneration. Damage that is done once to the retina caused by wet or other forms of macular degeneration cannot be restored.
For dry macular degeneration certain nutritional supplements can be used. Studies have shown that nutritional supplements can slow the progression of dry macular degeneration. The ophthalmologist can tell you more about it.
Below a short description of the treatment for slowing down vessel growth, which with wet macular degeneration, will follow as applied in our clinic.
Treatment with so called vessel growth inhibitors
In early stages of the disease process wet macular degeneration with the aid of so-called vessel growth inhibitors, which are injected into the eye, may be brought to a standstill. Since 2007 age-related wet macular degeneration is in most cases, treated with a new class of drugs, the vessel growth inhibitor: Bevacizumab (Avastin). This drug inhibits the vascular growth factor VEGF, a substance that allows the vessels to grow beneath the retina and they cause the leakage of fluid and blood. Treatment with vascular growth inhibitors, by means of an injection in the eye must be administered regularly, is burdensome, but occurs in the majority of those with age-related wet macular degeneration or any further deterioration, while approximately one-third of the patients treated will see better.
The availability of vessel growth inhibitors means a huge improvement in the outlook for patients with age-related wet macular degeneration. People who visit the ophthalmologist at a late stage, can still be visually impaired by the disorder. Early detection is very important.
If you think you qualify for the treatment of macular degeneration it is wise to go to your GP as soon as possible in order to make an appointment at our clinic. So you are assured of good advice and (possible) a short-term treatment.
Macular Degeneration-patients often not suffice with glasses in reading for example. Today, ranges of loupe- and magnification systems are available. Your eye doctor may refer you to a lowvision counselor in order to find the appropriate tool for you.