Age-Related Macular Degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss in seniors in which the central portion of the retina, called the macula, is damaged as a result of the hardening of the small arteries supplying oxygen and nutrients to the retinal tissue. There are two main types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Dry Macular Degeneration and Wet Macular Degeneration.
Dry and Wet Macular Degeneration
Dry Macular Degeneration is the most common type of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, making up 85-90% of cases, resulting in a slow, progressive loss of vision. Typically, we see small, yellow-colored deposits between the retinal layers, which are called drusen. Many people 50 years of age or older have some drusen as they age, and may be asked to schedule eye exams more frequently in order to monitor them as there is some possibility that Dry Macular Degeneration will progress to Wet Macular Degeneration.
We need to detect Wet Macular Degeneration quickly as it has far more serious consequences for vision loss. Wet Macular Degeneration is characterized by an abnormal growth of new blood vessels under the retina, called “neovascularization,” which is prone to be leaky and can easily break and bleed. If leakage occurs, the macula may actually begin to swell, bleed and scar, causing severe loss of central vision, which may be irreversible.
Macular Degeneration Treatment
At Ridgewood Eye Associates, we are able to perform in-office Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) exams and diagnostic testing as well as work with your primary care physician and retina specialists to be certain you have access to care you might need, including non-surgical injection treatment with Lucentis®, Eylea® or other medications, if needed, to help maintain your vision and prevent vision loss. With regular eye exams, early detection and diagnosis, vision loss from AMD can be halted in most instances.