Macular degeneration (AMD) is a deterioration of the center of the retina of the eye called the Macula. It occurs most commonly in patients over the age of 55. There are two types of macular degeneration, wet and dry. They both affect the central vision resulting in blurring and distortion or an absence of fine detail in the central visual field.
There is no know treatment for dry macular degeneration, however, there are several things that can be done to help prevent it. Not smoking is one of the best ways to help prevent the disease. Exercise and diet are also helpful. The Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) showed that a combination of certain vitamins in supplement form can help prevent the progression of dry macular degeneration which is already present by 25%.
The treatment of wet macular degeneration may involve laser, anti-VEGF therapy, and Photodynamic Therapy. All of these therapies are administered by an eye MD (ophthalmologist).
There are many new ways to evaluate a patient with AMD including Fourier-Domain OCT. This is a very exquisite way to see the retina using laser directed ultrasound to produce a microscopic cross sectional and three dimensional view of the retina and macula. At the Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic, Chippewa Falls, we have the most up to date OCT instrument available.