Overview: Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is an age related eye disease that is a leading cause of vision loss in patients over the age of 50. Risk factors include Caucasian race, smoking, and female gender. There are two forms: dry (no bleeding) and wet (bleeding), and both forms tend to affect the center of the vision.
The initial diagnosis is made with a clinical exam including dilation. Ancillary tests – including amsler grid, optical coherence tomography, and fluorescein angiography – can help significantly with diagnosing the extent and type of the disease.
While there is no treatment for the dry form, many experts advocate the use of AREDS2 over-the-counter vitamin supplementation to lower the risk of worsening macular degeneration. For the wet form, eye injections and laser treatment can be effective in reducing the associated swelling and bleeding. Smoking cessation is also important for any patient with macular degeneration.