Types and treatments of macular degeneration

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A recent survey showed that a majority of macular degeneration cases occur in elderly people, so that the terms macular degeneration and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are usually used interchangeably. As a result, most doctors believe that macular degeneration is closely associated with the eye’s natural aging. In detail, the eye’s macula is known as the exact part that suffers defect while AMD develops. This is why the old is always encouraged to monitor this eye disease closely.

Macular degeneration can be caused by certain drugs

In fact, macular degeneration can also be caused by certain drugs, including Aralen, Mellaril, Prolixin, Trilafon and Stelazine. In this case, macular degeneration is different from age-related macular degeneration. And some youngsters may be victims. Whichever reason beyond this eye disease, nearly all patients of macular degeneration suffer gradual or sudden central vision loss. Early symptoms of AMD can be waved straight lines, fuzzy vision and shadowy areas in the central vision.

Dry and wet forms of AMD

In general, there are two types of macular degeneration: dry AMD and wet AMD. Dry AMD is always associated with thinning and aging macular tissues or pigment deposition in the macula. Wet form macular degeneration is more serious, which is usually caused by new blood vessel growth beneath the retina and blood leakage. Currently, all available treatments of AMD can only slow its progression, manifesting the great importance of prevention and early detection.

Who should be more aware of AMD?

It is acknowledged by most eye doctors that AMD is affecting an increasing percentage of the world’s population. And this trend shows no sign of ceasing. In addition, researchers have figured out related statistics showing that certain groups of people are particularly vulnerable to age-related macular degeneration. More exactly, people over 65, white individuals and those with an AMD family history are at higher risks of suffering macular degeneration.

Use sunglasses and keep a healthy diet to prevent AMD

Ultraviolet and blue light are suspected to increase the risk of AMD so that many doctors recommend the use of sunglasses, especially by those groups mentioned above. What’s more, a healthy diet including antioxidants, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin and essential fatty acids is helpful in preventing macular degeneration.

Several medical or surgical treatments for macular degeneration

Today, treatments for macular degeneration follow either medical or surgical ways. By stopping abnormal blood vessel growth in the inner eye, the drug named Lucentis is effective in preventing the progression of wet form AMD and sometimes improving overall vision. Combined with the laser treatment called photodynamic therapy, Visudyne is also a drug for wet AMD. Photocoagulation is a laser surgery that can slow down vision loss.