What to know about this common retinal condition
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is among the leading causes of vision loss in people aged 50 and older in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 19.8M Americans over the age of 40 live with AMD. Of those millions, 18.3M have early-stage AMD, and 1.4M have late-stage vision-threatening AMD.
What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
AMD is a deterioration of the macula, which is the central part of the retina. If you think of a target, the macula is the bullseye. The macula is responsible for central vision, allowing us to recognize faces, read, and see objects in detail.
Two Types of AMD
Age-related macular degeneration typically falls into one of two categories: dry (nonexudative) or wet (exudative).
Dry AMD is most common, with approximately 80% of individuals experiencing this form of age-related macular degeneration. When areas of the macula thin and form tiny clumps of protein/calcium (drusen), you will slowly lose your central vision.
Though less common, wet AMD is the most severe form of age-related macular degeneration. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels form underneath the retina and leak blood or toxic fluid, damaging the macula. Loss of central vision can occur quickly.
Causes of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The exact cause of AMD is unknown, but several factors may increase risk, including age, genetics, diet, smoking, and ultraviolet light exposure. AMD is more common in people over 50, as the macula cannot repair itself over time.
Genetics also plays a role, as those with a family history of age-related macular degeneration are more likely to develop this condition. Those who are Caucasian and who have heart disease or high blood pressure are also at risk for developing AMD.
Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The most common symptom of AMD is a loss of vision in the center of the field of view. This is often accompanied by distorted vision, such as wavy lines or blurry images.
Treatments for Age-Related Macular Degeneration
While there is currently no cure for AMD, your retina specialist will recommend treatments to slow the progression of the disease, reduce vision loss, and even improve vision. The most common treatments are nutritional/vitamin supplementation, laser, and injection therapy.
Dry macular degeneration treatment involves nutritional supplementation, including a well-rounded diet and specific retina vitamins (AREDS2).
There have been exciting recent developments in the treatment of dry AMD, specifically for geographic atrophy, with the release of SYFOVRE.
The most common treatment for wet macular degeneration is an intravitreal injection of advanced medicine to control and stop blood vessel leakage in the retina. These medicines include Avastin, Lucentis, Vabysmo, Eylea, Cimerli, and others.
Louisiana Retina has a complete catalog of the most modern treatments available. Our dedicated team will help with patient authorizations, insurance verification, and copay assistance programs.
Ask our team about SYFOVRE and VABYSMO.
AMD Treatment in Louisiana
It is vital to receive regular eye exams to identify and treat vision problems right away, especially if you are over 50, Caucasian, or have a family history of macular degeneration.
Our team of skilled retina specialists provides AMD treatment in our Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Hammond, and Amite eye clinics. We invite you to contact us to learn more about our specialty in retina care or to make an appointment.