Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to macular degeneration.
- Macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes the loss of the sharp, central vision needed for many daily tasks.
- Macular degeneration most often occurs as people age, although a form of it can affect children.
- Symptoms of macular degeneration include fuzzy or blurry vision, an empty or dark area in the center of your vision, straight lines such as telephone poles or sentences on a page that appear to be wavy, and a dimming of vision when reading.
- The two types of age-related macular degeneration are dry AMD and wet AMD. Wet AMD causes most of the blindness that can result from macular degeneration.
- There is no proven treatment for dry AMD, but because it can progress to the more serious wet AMD, regular eye exams are important.
- In its early stages, wet AMD can be treated with
laser surgeryor photodynamic therapy.
- Laser therapy involves using a laser beam to destroy new blood vessels growing in the eye. The goal is to prevent additional loss of vision.
- Photodynamic therapy involves injecting the patient with a special drug that flows into the abnormal blood vessels in the eye. A special laser focused on these vessels causes a chemical reaction that destroys abnormal vessels.
- New surgical techniques and new medications are under investigation to treat macular degeneration.