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Latest Questions and Answers
I have age-related macular degeneration. Why are my eyes sometimes blurry? The blurriness occurs mostly in the mornings. I have lens implants in both eyes from previous cataract surgeries, so the problem is not related to having the wrong eyeglass prescription. My ophthalmologist doesn't have an answer for this, but all age-related macular degeneration patients that I have talked to have this similar problem. [ 03/01/11 ]

Intermittent blurry vision is not caused by age related macular degeneration (ARMD). The most likely cause for intermittent blurriness is ocular surface disease. With age, the ability to lubricate the eye surface decreases causing intermittent blurred vision. You could try a trial of artificial tears up to 4 times daily. Remember that reading, watching TV, etc. decreases your natural blink reflex. If your symptoms are worse after doing these activities, then dry eye disease is certainly a possibility. Your eyes may be opening slightly at night, causing them to dry, and lead to a worsening of your symptoms. If artificial tears do not help, please see your ophthalmologist for further evaluation.

I am 51 years old and I have early-stage dry macular degeneration. Can I still get Lasik eye surgery if I have this eye condition? [ 02/28/11 ]

Dry age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is not an absolute contraindication to LASIK. However, your ARMD will likely progress over time and you may lose the clarity of vision given to you by LASIK. Also, if your vision is already damaged by ARMD, it cannot be improved by LASIK. Also, because you are 51 years old you will soon or may already notice the need for reading glasses. LASIK typically cannot correct both distance and near vision.

I had surgery for epiretinal membrane in August of 2010. I still have had no improvement in my wavy vision, and my nearsightedness has increased from 400 to 600. Also, objects that I look at look at appear bigger than before the surgery. The doctor said the power increase is a symptom of cataract, which is a very common development for people having epiretinal membrane surgery and advised me to have the lens replaced sometime in the future. Is this accurate? Why do the objects look larger? Did my surgery fail? I am looking forward to hearing back from you soon. Thank you. [ 02/27/11 ]

Vitrectomy and membrane peeling surgery for epiretinal membrane (ERM) can take up to 1 year post-surgery to provide full benefit to your eye. After 4 months, you should notice some benefit; however, it is still relatively early in the post-operative period. In short, it is likely too early to predict if your surgery failed or is successful.

Vitrectomy surgery can certainly increase the speed of cataract progression. When the lens becomes a cataract, it often becomes thicker and bends light more strongly. Bending light more strongly creates a magnifier-like effect and makes objects appear larger. This does not mean that your surgery failed.

I was recently diagnosed with vitelliform macular dystrophy, and would like to know if there are there any effective treatment options available? [ 02/26/11 ]

Vitelliform macular dystrophy currently has no treatment for the dystrophy itself. However, if you develop choroidal neovascular degeneration* (CNV) associated with vitellifrom macular degeneration, several treatments exist including photodynamic therapy, intra-ocular Avastin injection, and intra-ocular Lucentis injection.

* choroidal neovascularization is the growth of new fragile and leaky blood vessels in the choroid portion of the eye.

I am 69 years old and my left eye became very blurry in October of 2010, but within 48 hours my vision returned to normal. My vision is normally in the 20/20 range, and my eye pressure is in the low 20s in both eyes. The blurriness happened again in early November and I saw eye doctor the next day. The doctor said that I was fine except for a minor cataract. He had no explanation for the blurriness and arranged an appointment with an ophthalmologist specializing in cataract removal. In December, I saw the ophthalmologist, and the only problem that he found was the cataract. My eye pressures were in the 24 – 25 range, so he gave me a sample of eye drops to try and apparently had no clue about what is causing my periodic blurry vision. The blurriness has occurred several times since I saw the ophthalmologist and it usually lasts 24 – 48 hours. It is painless and seems like Vaseline has been spread on my eye. Any help would be much appreciated. [ 02/25/11 ]

This painless blurring of vision in one eye that happens to you can occur for a variety of reasons, some harmless, and others very serious. Dry eyes can commonly cause temporary blurriness lasting 12 – 24 hours, but use of artificial tears and ointments up to 4 times daily can help. More serious causes of temporary eye blurriness include a decrease in the blood flow to the eye, optic nerve, or both. If the lubricating tears do not help, it will important to promptly visit your ophthalmologist when you are experiencing your symptoms so that he can provide a definitive diagnosis.

I am a 53-year-old woman who had cataract surgery in June. The lens transplant moved so they did another cataract surgery. It was after that surgery that fluid was leaking out of my stitches. I had no eye pressure for about 2 weeks (it was a “flat tire”). At that point, the doctor put several more stitches in the eye to stop the leaking. I still have a small leak and the surgeon told me that it was as good as it was going to get. When I went for a second opinion, I was told that I have macular degeneration. I do not understand how I developed this condition. What caused this happen? Can you have macular degeneration on some days and not others? Cataracts were the only problem that I ever had with my eyes. If you can give me some information or answers I would really appreciated it. Thank you. [ 02/24/11 ]

From your description you have two separate issues. The first is a cataract surgery, subsequent lens dislocation, and wound leak. None of these issues cause age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). ARMD is uncommon before the age of 55, but can lead to degeneration of the central area of the retina, called the macula, which is responsible for detailed vision. ARMD develops from a combination of genetic and environmental factors that is not precisely known. If you have ARMD, you will have it every day. However, ARMD initially begins very mildly, and you may not notice any visual symptoms. It usually progresses slowly with aging and can eventually cause visual loss. You may also have another type of macular degeneration since you are relatively young for ARMD, but without knowing the specific subtype, I would not be able to describe the origin and prognosis.

I have central vision loss due to acute zonal occult outer retinopathy (AZOOR) in both eyes. Am I a candidate for the telescopic device that was recently approved for end-stage macular degeneration? [ 02/23/11 ]

The implantable telescope has currently only been FDA approved for a select subgroup of patients with age-related macular degeneration. This technology is relative new, so it will likely be a length of time before consideration is given to off label uses for this procedure.  Also, if the central area of vision damaged by the AZOOR is very large the telescope would likely not be of much help to you. You may however benefit from a visit to a low vision specialist to maximize your current visual capabilities. You can obtain referral from your retina specialist.

Does massage affect macular degeneration in any way? [ 02/11/11 ]

Massage has not been shown to affect age-related macular degeneration in any way. Smoking and diet are currently the only two modifiable risk factors that have been established with good scientific evidence. Wearing sunglasses, having a regular exercise regimen, maintaining a healthy weight, keeping blood pressure under control, and getting regular eye exams are also important preventive measures.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is a public service of the BrightFocus Foundation and should not in any way substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional; it is not intended to constitute medical advice. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. BrightFocus Foundation does not endorse any medical product or therapy. All medications and supplements should only be taken under medical supervision. Also, although we make every effort to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the posted information reflects the most up-to-date research.

Some of the content in this section is adapted from other sources, which are clearly identified within each individual item of information.

Last Review: 04/29/13

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