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.
How can I get my mom into a clinical trial study concerning the telescope eye implant? We live in the Seattle area and she fits the criteria for the study. She is 86 and blind due to her eye condition. [ 02/10/11 ]
The only open telescopic implant clinical trial concerns the evaluation of pre- and post-implantation management of patients with end-stage age-related macular degeneration who have already had the implantable telescope (IMT) surgery, and the research is taking place in England. In July of 2010, the FDA approved this surgical procedure for patients with end-stage macular degeneration who meet the qualification guidelines, and there are centers in the United States that provide this surgical procedure; however, your mom should talk with her ophthalmologist to determine if she is indeed a good candidate. VisionCare™ Ophthalmic Technologies can provide your mom and her doctor with a list of facilities that specialize in this type of surgery, as well as a patient information booklet explaining the risks and benefits of this specialized procedure.
Can rickets result in developing macular degeneration later in life? [ 02/09/11 ]
Vitamin D deficiency is related to the development of rickets, and researchers are currently exploring how this vitamin might influence one's risk of developing macular degeneration. I did not find any scientific reports demonstrating a direct link between rickets and the development of macular degeneration, however.
There was a recent announcement that the FDA approved clinical trials to use stem cells for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Does this mean we are closer to a cure? Will the cure happen within 5 years? [ 02/08/11 ]
Preliminary studies using stem cells to treat/improve vision in persons with retinal diseases, such as macular degeneration, have proven to be very promising, hence the increase in support for continuation or advancement of similar studies. However, it is not possible to place a timeline on when or if a cure will actually come from this line of research.
Your publication, “Living with Macular Degeneration,” mentions that maintaining blood pressure at normal levels is important for good eye health. Why is this so important? What relationship is there between macular degeneration and hypertension? I am a 45-year-old Bolivian woman and 3 months ago I was diagnosed with macular degeneration. Any information you can give me will be greatly appreciated. [ 02/07/11 ]
Maintaining blood pressure at an appropriate range definitely reduces the risk of a variety of health problems, and will help you avoid heart, brain, and kidney diseases. In addition, some research studies have reported an association between high blood pressure and worsening of age-related macular degeneration, which could then lead to permanent loss of vision.
I am 17 years old and I have had macular degeneration since I was born. Over the years, my vision has gotten worse. The doctors have told me that I will be blind by the time I am in my 20s or 30s. Is there anything that I can do to slow down or stop the vision loss? I have heard that there is no known surgery for my type of macular degeneration. Is this true? [ 02/06/11 ]
The most common type of macular degeneration is called age-related macular degeneration, and is infrequent before the age of 55. You have a more rare form of the disease, and the potential therapy for your retinal degeneration will depend on the exact cause. If you have not already done so, please contact a retina specialist for an evaluation. He/she can also refer you to a low vision specialist, who can help you obtain devices and training to maximize your independence and quality of life.
My mother has macular degeneration, and since March she has been injected seven times in the eye. The doctor said he will perform more injections this month and then he will let her rest. She is desperate because it seems like there have been too many injections and she is afraid of them. My mother has already lost the vision in one eye and the doctors are trying to save the other eye. Thanks for your help. [ 02/05/11 ]
The best treatments currently available for wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) are the Avastin and Lucentis eye injections. In large clinical trials, Lucentis stopped 90% of patients with wet ARMD from losing vision and 30% of patients actually gained vision. In these same trials, patients received injections every 4 weeks for 2 years with a very low rate of side effects. Thousands of patients have been safely treated with these eye injections. Please have your mother discuss her treatment concerns with a retina specialist, so that she can clearly understand the benefits and risks of the therapy.