Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is an acquired condition that affects the central portion of your retina, the macula, causing reduced and sometimes distorted central vision.
Performing daily tasks which require fine vision such as reading, driving, recognizing faces, and dialing a telephone can become very difficult. It is the leading cause of vision loss in patients 50 years and older, and many people don’t realize they have the condition until their vision is adversely affected.
- Dry AMD: The macula (the area of the retina responsible for sharp, detailed central vision) thins over time and tiny deposits called drusen develop. Central vision slowly deteriorates. Most patients with AMD commence with the dry, atrophic type and 10-20% progress to wet AMD.
- Wet AMD: New, abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the retina. The vessels bleed and leak fluid, the macula elevates and detaches, and the macula scars. Vision loss is more rapid with this type.
The exact cause of macular degeneration is unknown, but risk factors include:
- Cigarette smoking
- Diets high in saturated fats
- Family history of AMD
- Age 50+
- Caucasian ancestry
- Heart disease or high cholesterol
SELF MONITORING AND TREATMENT
- Check an Amsler grid daily with each eye separately.
- Report any changes in vision including distortion, wavy lines, or a missing area of vision.
Take Preservision ARED2 multivitamins if you have intermediate to severe dry AMD.
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), an NIH clinical study of greater than 5,000 people with AMD, concluded in 2001 that a specific formula of antioxidants and zinc taken as nutritional supplements can slow the progression of the disease in patients with intermediate AMD or advanced AMD in one eye only.
The AREDS2 study, published in 2013, recommended replacing beta-carotene, because it put smokers (past and present) at increased risk of developing lung cancer, with lutein and zeaxanthin, two other retinal health-promoting nutrients.
The modified formulation decreased the risk of disease progression in intermediate-to-severe dry AMD patients by up to 19% and/or of vision loss by 25%. The resulting formula found below is contained in Preservision AREDS2 multivitamins, which can be purchased over the counter.
- Vitamin C (500 mg)
- Vitamin E (400 IU)
- Lutein (10 mg)
- Zeaxanthin (2 mg)
- Zinc (80 mg)
- Copper (2 mg)
Maintaining a diet high in antioxidants including green leafy vegetables, berries, and nuts is also an effective method for reducing your risk of macular degeneration.
Currently, there is no effective treatment for dry AMD. AREDS2 vitamins may decrease the risk of disease progression in intermediate-to-severe dry AMD patients.
Wet AMD-Neovascular or Exudative
Intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF medications (Macugen, Lucentis, Avastin, and Eylea) or targeted laser surgery can be performed to reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels in the retina and slow any leaking from blood vessels.
Call 702-896-2020 today to schedule your dilated examination with Dr. Shin to check for early signs of this condition.