Macular Degeneration Treatment
Early detection is the best defense against visual loss from macular degeneration. There is no cure for macular degeneration, although treatments may slow the progression of the wet form. There is no treatment for the dry form of macular degeneration. Zinc supplements and other vitamin and mineral combinations may slow the progression of the disease. Low vision aids may help improve the quality of life of people that experience vision loss.
While scientific studies are not yet conclusive, researchers suggest that health and lifestyle changes may help reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration. It may be helpful to attain and maintain a healthy weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Multivitamins that contain anti-oxidants such as zinc, selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Lutien may be helpful. Also not yet proven, researchers suggest that it may be helpful to wear sunglasses with UV protection to block exposure to UV sunrays.
Some cases of wet macular degeneration may be treated with laser therapy, photodynamic therapy, or medications. Laser surgery may be used to treat wet macular degeneration. Laser treatments are usually more effective in the early stages of the disease. Laser surgery uses high-energy light beams to destroy abnormal or leaking blood vessels.
Photodynamic laser treatment (PDT) is a laser technique used to seal leaks at the center of the macula without damaging the central vision. Photodynamic laser treatment (PDT) involves administering an IV medication before the laser treatment is performed, which super-sensitizes the leaking vessels to the laser beam. This allows the use of a very low energy laser, which seals the leak but leaves the overlying retinal cells intact. This treatment is very safe. Only people with active leakage under the retina—the wet form—are candidates for this treatment. The leaks must be very active and well defined (also known as “classic” leaks) and cannot exceed a certain size.
There are a few medications that are injected into the eye to treat wet macular degeneration. They work to block the growth of new blood vessels that may leak and contribute to vision problems. The injected medications may help slow the progression of wet macular degeneration.
If you have experienced vision loss that interferes with your daily activities, ask your doctor about low vision services and devices that may help optimize the vision that you have. Your doctor may refer you to a low vision specialist for low vision device training and education. There are a multitude of low vision services and devices that may increase your independence, increase your activity level, and improve the quality of your life.
Macular Degeneration Treatment from SecondOpinions.com (Ophthalmology, Optometry)
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