The leading cause of vision loss and blindness among Americans over the age of 65, Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) affects a large percentage of the general population. AMD occurs when the macula (the part of the retina responsible for your sharp vision) begins to degenerate, causing vision loss.
There are two forms of AMD, wet and dry.
Dry AMD: Nearly 90% of all cases of AMD are Dry (or non-neovascular) Macular Degeneration. Neovascular refers to the growth of new blood vessels in the part of the eye that shouldn’t grow there. Dry AMD is an early stage of the disorder that occurs as our bodies naturally age, and the macular tissue thins. When the tissue thins, pigment is deposited into the eye and yellow spots form. This is a less severe version of AMD, as central vision loss typically occurs more gradually. There is currently no treatment for dry AMD, but nutritional supplements have been shown to slow the disease down.
Wet AMD: In wet AMD, new blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak blood and fluid, causing permanent damage to light-sensitive retinal cells. These cells eventually die off and create blind spots in your central vision. Vision loss typically occurs more rapidly with wet AMD. However, it can be treated with intravitreal injections. Southside Center for Sight and Dr. Pesavento offer the following medications for intravitreal injections:
- Bevacizumab Avastin (®)
- Lucentis ®
- Eylea ®
Risk factors for AMD include:
- Obesity and inactivity
- High Blood Pressure
- Lighter eye color
If you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, call Southside Center for Sight to schedule an appointment.