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Macular Degeneration

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Macular degeneration treatment

While macular degeneration treatment options are fairly limited for those who suffer from the disease, there are new macular degeneration treatments being researched every day. Of the options available, your doctor may recommend treatment ranging from a regiment of nutrients and vitamins to laser surgery or low vision aids. This all depends on the type of macular degeneration you have (wet or dry), the severity of your macular degeneration symptoms, and how far the disease has progressed.

Your macular degeneration treatment process will start with a full evaluation of your current symptoms and visual acuity. To do this, your doctor can perform a series of macular degeneration tests. One of these tests may include looking at an Amsler grid, which is a pattern that looks similar to a checkerboard. The level of distortion, waviness or blurriness you experience looking at the center of the graph can indicate how severely your vision is being affected.

In addition to tests similar to these, you doctor will also dilate your pupils and view the back of your eye to see if broken or leaking blood vessels are the cause of your vision impairment. This is a telltale sign that you are suffering from the wet type of macular degeneration as opposed to the dry, which is characterized by a thinning or atrophy of the inner lining of the eye near the macula.

Wet Macular Degeneration Treatment Options

There are more macular degeneration treatment options available to you if you have wet macular degeneration than if you are suffering from the dry type. This is because the blood vessels causing wet macular degeneration can be treated or destroyed if you seek medical attention in a timely manner.

The most common wet macular degeneration treatment options include the FDA-approved drugs Lucentis and Macugen, which slow the growth of abnormal blood vessels, or an injection of a drug called Visudyne that is used in conjunction with photodynamic therapy to destroy abnormal vessels. If the disease has not advanced very far, it may also be possible to help slow down its progression with certain vitamins and nutrients.

Once wet macular degeneration progresses beyond the aid of drugs or surgery, there are still many low vision aids you can use to aid your vision for important daily activities. These include specialized low vision magnifiers, reading glasses, telescopic glasses and electronic aids.

Dry Macular Degeneration Treatment Options

Unfortunately, there are not any FDA approved macular degeneration treatment options for dry macular degeneration, although the same low vision aids mentioned above can often be used to help improve your sight and maintain your independence. Some positive news is that ongoing research has shown that nutrients like lutein, zinc, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A, C and E can help lower the risk of the disease and slow its progression. Other nutrients are also being researched for their protective effects against the disease, including omega-3 fatty acids.

Although macular degeneration treatment options can be limited, the sooner you seek treatment, the better your chances are of maintaining your current vision. To find out more about your personal macular degeneration risk factors, the severity of your macular degeneration symptoms, or to start preventative treatment, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor today. Macular Degeneration gene identified that causes Blindness





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