AMD, or age-related macular degeneration, is the leading reason why people over 65 lose their sight, but with the treatment, you can preserve your eyesight for longer. The highly experienced ophthalmologists at Connecticut Retina Consultants have considerable expertise in diagnosing and treating AMD at their offices in New Haven, Hamden, Madison, Trumbull, and Fairfield, Connecticut. Call Connecticut Retina Consultants today to find out more or book an appointment.
AMD is short for age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of sight loss in people over 65 in the United States.
The macula is an area at the center of your retina that’s responsible for fine detailed vision. As AMD advances, you experience blurring in your central vision that worsens over time. Your side or peripheral vision typically doesn’t change.
At least 10 million people in the United States have a form of macular degeneration. More than 2 million Americans have advanced AMD that seriously affects their vision.
There are two ways in which the macula can suffer degeneration, called dry AMD and wet AMD:
Dry AMD is the more common cause of macular degeneration. It develops because of slow deterioration in the retinal cells and cells surrounding the retina. The macula gradually thins or atrophies, and a waste material called drusen builds up. Dry AMD tends to follow a slow progression and can be mild in many cases.
Wet AMD is less common than dry AMD, but is potentially more harmful. Between 10%-20% of patients who have dry age-related macular degeneration progress to having the wet form. Wet AMD involves the leakage of blood or fluid into the central area of the macula, potentially causing permanent sight loss.
The only treatment for dry AMD is a specially formulated vitamin supplement developed by the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). This supplement slows down the progress of AMD and helps reduce the risk of dry AMD becoming the more dangerous wet AMD.
The original AREDS formulation consists of:
The newer AREDS 2 formula contains lutein and zeaxanthin instead of beta carotene. It’s essential to consult with your ophthalmologist at Connecticut Retina Consultants to make sure you’d benefit from taking an AREDS supplement.
Your ophthalmologist can use specialized medications called anti-VEGF agents to treat wet AMD. There are several types of these medications available, including:
Injections of anti-VEGF agents are typically painless and are highly effective in minimizing the progression of wet AMD.
You might also benefit from additional treatments such as photodynamic therapy (PDT) or steroid injections.
Each patient needs their own carefully designed treatment plan prepared by your provider at Connecticut Retina Consultants. To arrange a consultation to check for AMD, call the practice today.