New discoveries of macular degeneration

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For most seniors, getting macular degeneration is really a nightmare. This eye disease is very harmful because it causes loss of central vision by damaging the eye’s macula. A person’s central vision is the critical part for perceiving objects with a high acuity. Age related macular degeneration begins usually with characteristic yellow deposits in the macula. This is the typical sign of slight AMD. The condition can go on to develop into an advanced form. Another point is that wet form and dry form macular degeneration differ considerably from each other. Dry form usually involves drusen accumulation between the retina and the choroid, while wet form causes abnormal blood vessel growth behind the retina. Currently, scientists try to learn more about this eye disease.

Trans-unsaturated fats increase the risk of macular degeneration

As hardened fats, trans-unsaturated fats are associated with heart diseases because they can raise levels of bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol. However, higher amounts of trans-unsaturated fats are also reported to increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, according to the Archives of Ophthalmology. Lots of trans-unsaturated fats intake is suspected to be closely related with late AMD.

It is okay to receive anti-VEGF injection in both eyes per visit

In the past, patients who had advanced macular degeneration in both eyes would receive injections of anti-VEGF in different days, which is very inconvenient for those who live far from the hospital. Doctors perform in this way because of potential risks. They think that bilateral injections impose extra burden on patients and possibly bring more risks if there is something wrong during the procedure. Now there is a study showing that bilateral injections and unilateral injections have no difference in risk. With separate trays of sterile instruments and drugs from different manufactures, the two eyes are not related to each other in getting infection or allergic action.

AMD-caused vision loss causes change to brain activity

A study conducted by researchers from Georgia Tech pointed out that age-related macular degeneration can cause changes to brain activity. Bothered by partially visual loss, AMD patients always see through edges of the remaining visual field. Volunteers participating in the study were asked to change their behavior and seeing ways. In the visual cortex of their brains, increased activities can be found, which explained that the brain can reorganize itself to compensate for vision loss caused by AMD.

Current treatments effectively control AMD damage

As the baby boomer generation continues to age towards retirement, the number of age-related macular degeneration cases in America is estimated to reach 17.8 million in 2050, double of the current figure. Currently there are several treatments for macular degeneration. Vitamin prophylactic therapy and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections are effective treatments in slowing down AMD progression. Without these treatments, people suffering visual impairment and blindness can be around 1.6 million in 2050.