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Latest Questions and Answers
Is there treatment for the dry form of macular degeneration? [ 08/30/13 ]

There is no specific treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration. However, the National Eye Institute's Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) has found that taking a specific high-dose formulation of antioxidants significantly reduces the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration and its associated vision loss. This combination of antioxidants is generally referred to as the AREDS formulation. Slowing age-related macular degeneration's progression from the intermediate stage to the advanced stage may save the vision of many people. Before taking the AREDS formulation or any other nutritional supplement it is strongly recommended that you consult with your physician and/or eye specialist. For additional information about macular degeneration please visit the following page prepared by our organization: Frequently Asked Questions.

My 88-year-old mother was receiving Lucentis injections for a couple of years in her one good eye (the other eye is scarred from wet macular degeneration). One year ago, her doctor switched to using Eylea. She recently complained of worsening vision, and it was revealed that there were "dry changes" to the eye. I am sending a link which talks about Anti-VEGF drugs causing "dry" macular degeneration, which is what my mother now seems to have acquired. In other words, the Eylea injections are now seemingly causing "dry" macular degeneration in her good eye. Your thoughts and comments would be most welcome. Thank you. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102121506.htm [ 06/17/13 ]

It is not known whether eye injections such as Lucentis and Eylea for wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) can speed up progression of dry ARMD. The potential to speed up dry ARMD progression has been proposed for both Lucentis and Eylea. Please remember that although dry ARMD typically can cause visual decline slowly, wet ARMD almost always causes significant visual decline more quickly, and the eye injections such as Lucentis and Eylea have been shown in multiple clinical trials to prevent vision loss in 90 percent of patients with the wet form of the disease. Studies are ongoing to determine whether long term anti-VEGF drugs can cause more rapid progression of dry ARMD. The study you referenced is a study performed in a mouse model, and studies done in mice do not always translate to similar clinical findings in humans.

I have read that some forms of protein are bad for the eyes. I eat lots of high protein Greek yogurt. Will that harm my eyes? [ 06/17/13 ]

An overabundance of protein can cause dry eyes, but rarely. Dry eyes can lead to serious complications such as infection and corneal perforation, but again, these serious complications are extremely uncommon. If you notice that your eyes feel very dry since your high protein diet began, you may want to talk with your doctor about using over the counter artificial tears, or reducing your protein intake.

Will scuba diving negatively affect age-related dry macular degeneration? I would love to engage in this sport again but not at a cost to my vision. [ 06/17/13 ]

No study has definitely linked a progression of dry age-related macular degeneration to scuba diving. You may want to check with your eye specialist to confirm that you have adequate clarity of vision to scuba dive safely, however.

I am 70 years old and I was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration and glaucoma a few years ago. I have been using Travatan drops and get new glasses once each year. I asked my doctor why this past year I was able to see in color on my 32 inch television from a distance of two feet, but at three feet, I can only see black and white; and everything is blurred even with glasses. Now she says that glasses would not help. At this rate, how long will it take for me to go blind? Can doctors halt the disease progression? What can I do? [ 06/17/13 ]

You have two separate diseases: glaucoma and wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). The glaucoma causes slow progressive loss of your peripheral vision and then eventual loss of central vision also. The wet ARMD can cause progressive central vision loss as well as loss of color vision. The vision loss from either glaucoma or wet ARMD cannot be corrected by glasses. Doctors can slow and halt the disease progression for both glaucoma and ARMD with a variety of therapies. The most common treatment for wet ARMD is injection of special medicines directly into the eye. These medicines can prevent vision loss from ARMD in 90% of patients. Please discuss with your retina specialist if you are an appropriate candidate to receive the medicines. You can also ask your eye doctors about the progression of the glaucoma and wet ARMD based on your past history, and they can also give you a prognosis for potential future visual loss.

I have age-related macular degeneration in my left eye, and I also have a blind spot. What is causing me to have double vision in this eye? [ 06/17/13 ]

Wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) can cause loss of vision, such as the central blind spot you see in your left eye, but typically does not cause double vision. If your double vision resolves when you close either eye, you may have an eye muscle imbalance. If your double vision does not improve when you close your right eye, you may be developing scar tissue, or some other manifestation of ARMD that is causing the double vision in only the left eye. Please see an ophthalmologist for evaluation.

My mother is 87 years old; her right eye retina is atrophied, and she is blind in her left eye. She also has glaucoma, but is not using eye drops at this time. Is she in the last stage of macular degeneration, called geographic atrophy? How will her field of vision change in the future? [ 06/17/13 ]

Without performing a complete eye examination it is not possible to define what stage of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) your mother is in. The end stages of ARMD are divided into multiple different subtypes based on physical findings including central geographic atrophy, fibrotic scar tissue, bleeding, fluid in the retina, or a combination of all of these. Wet ARMD typically causes central vision loss only, and glaucoma causes slow peripheral vision loss first and then finally central vision loss. Please discuss the prognosis for your mother’s visual field tests with her managing glaucoma specialist.

I have myopic macular degeneration. It started 21 years ago, when I was 38 years old. My understanding is that although myopic macular degeneration may present similarly to age-related macular degeneration, there are some differences that could affect progression and/or treatment. I've also read of a study that gives evidence of increased scotoma in myopic macular degeneration patients after Avastin treatment. I suspect this is what has happened to me. I appreciate your input. [ 06/17/13 ]

Myopic degeneration can also lead to new blood vessel growth underneath the retina, and these blood vessels can be treated with Avastin injections. Though Avastin controls the new blood vessel growth, it does not stop progression of myopic macular degeneration. Progression of myopic macular degeneration may account for your enlarged scotoma. In the study that you cited, about 70% of patients developed smaller scotomas, while about 20% developed larger scotomas. This study supports the thought that Avastin does not cause scotoma progression.

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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: 04/26/13

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