There is not a cure for macular degeneration, but with the right treatment, you can slow or possibly prevent it from progressing. That means you can save your eyesight and avoid blindness that many people suffer from due to this disease. The steps you need to take depend on if you have wet or dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Include these steps as part of your management plan so you can maintain your vision.
Approximately 90 percent of people diagnosed with macular degeneration have dry AMD. This condition causes the macula’s cells to break down. Over time, the condition can worsen to the point of causing serious vision loss.
If you have dry AMD, you need to live a healthy lifestyle to slow the progression. Good overall health leads to improved eye health, giving your eyes the ability to fight back against the degenerative disease. Eat a diet full of nutrients and antioxidants, including green leafy vegetables. Your ophthalmologist can help you build a diet that is best for your overall eye health. Also, your ophthalmologist will likely prescribe high doses of zinc, copper, and vitamins A, C, and E. Researchers have found that these vitamins can slow or in some cases prevent the progression of AMD.
You should also stop smoking if you are a smoker and lose excess weight if you’re overweight. The better your overall health is, the harder it will be for the disease to progress. Then, your disease will be much less likely to turn into wet AMD.
Wet AMD isn’t as prevalent, but it can be devastating if it isn’t managed properly. This is diagnosed when abnormal blood vessels leak into the macula, causing severe blind spots in the vision. Over time, you can become blind if you don’t manage your wet AMD.
If you have wet AMD, your ophthalmologist might recommend ANTI-VEGF drug therapy. This has proven to be an effective treatment. Your ophthalmologist will inject the medication into your eyes to prevent new blood vessels from forming. The medication can also cause the blood vessels that have already formed to recede. In some cases, these injections even restore the already damaged vision. While the idea of getting eye injections might seem frightening, the area is numbed before the injections are administered. It isn’t painful, and the results can be very beneficial.
If you want to manage AMD, you need to maintain regular eye appointments. Your ophthalmologist needs to monitor the disease to make sure it isn’t progressing. If it is, your eye doctor will make changes to your treatment and management program to help you maintain your vision.
Are you worried about managing macular degeneration? Don’t try to do it alone. Instead, reach out to Tri-City Optometry. Shital S. Chatwani, O.D. F.A.A.O. specializes in disease treatment and management and can help you maintain your vision. Call our Fremont, California, office at 510-602-2020 to schedule an appointment.