I am 67 years old and I am being treated with azathioprine for Wegener’s granulomatosis. I was recently also diagnosed with wet macular degeneration and require Lucentis injections. I wonder if Wegeners could be the cause of the bleeding in the macular area. Can you comment on that? [ 03/17/12 ]
In wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), bleeding is caused by growth of new blood vessels, called chorodial neovascularization, or CNV. Wegener's granulomatosis is a disease where the body attacks its own small and medium blood vessels, causing inflammation. Typically, Wegener's granulomatosis affects the nose and kidneys, though it can cause various problems in the existing retinal blood vessels as well. Wegener's granulomatosis would not likely cause bleeding from the CNV secondary to ARMD.
Are steroids, such as prednisone, contraindicated if you have macular degeneration? [ 03/16/12 ]
Oral steroids such as prednisone are not prohibited if you have age-related macular degeneration; however, this class of medication has a long list of side effects, which your doctor should make you aware of.
Can tanning beds cause dry macular degeneration? [ 03/15/12 ]
Tanning beds have not been definitively linked to causing or exacerbating age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, ultraviolet (UV) radiation is released by the sun or artificial sources such as sun lamps or tanning beds. UV light can cause severe damage to our eyes and skin, including an increased risk for AMD, cataracts, skin cancer, snow blindness, and premature aging of the skin. In some states, legislation has been passed to restrict youth access to tanning beds. It is recommended that overexposure to sunlight be prevented by wearing wide-brimmed hats and using high quality sunglasses that have a rating of 99- or 100-percent UV-A and UV-B protection, and preferentially wraparound sunglasses to block harmful rays entering from the side.
I have been diagnosed with Best disease. I would like to find more information regarding the progression of the disease, current research, and any effective treatments. Also, I would be interested to know if there are ways that I can compensate for my visual limitations. Thank you. [ 03/14/12 ]
The e-medicine review article below is freely accessible on the internet and offers a reasonable overview of Best disease. No treatments are currently available for this eye disorder; however, many ways exist to maximize remaining visual potential. A low vision specialist can help you determine ways to compensate for your visual limitations. Your retinal specialist can help you obtain a referral.
What are the symptoms of foveal dystrophy? [ 02/07/12 ]
The term foveal dystrophy describes a broad group of disorders. Without knowing the specific kind of foveal dystrophy it would be difficult to describe specific symptoms. Most foveal dsytrophies would result in some decrease in central vision or color vision.
I am concerned because of the recent reports on the development of severe bacterial infections after the injection of Avastin. Is Avastin any safer to use now? [ 12/11/11 ]
Avastin is very safe to use. Some experts are noting that the reported outbreaks of bacterial eye infection in Florida and other locations may be an issue of third-party preparation of the drug and not a side effect of the drug itself. This may involve improper preparation of the drug within the pharmacy where the drug is placed into syringes. Hundreds of thousands of Avastin injections are given yearly without complication. Please speak to your physician about where he or she obtains the Avastin, and the practices of that pharmacy. EYLEA and Lucentis are alternatives to Avastin that do not have the pharmacy-associated preparation risk, and you may want to discuss that with your retina specialist as well.
Please see a recent news summary concerning this topic:
My mother, who is in her 80s, is suffering from both forms of macular degeneration. She likes salty foods and I would like to know how salt intake effects macular degeneration. [ 12/10/11 ]
Salty food consumption has not been directly linked to age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). Some research reports a weak link between poorly controlled blood pressure and ARMD progression, and a high salt diet can certainly raise blood pressure. Please speak to your mother and primary care physician to ensure that her blood pressure is in the appropriate range. This is critical for her overall health and will minimize risk of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney problems.
I am 44 years old and have macular degeneration. I started taking Lamictal eight years ago and would like to know if that medication could have any deleterious effects on the progression of my eye disease. Should I switch to another anticonvulsant medication? [ 12/09/11 ]
The relationship, if any, between Lamictal and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is not known. Though Lamictal has been reported to cause visual side effects such as blurred vision, double vision, and uncontrolled eye movements, no link to ARMD progression has been reported.