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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.


I have macular degeneration and I experience a sensation that I have something in my eye. What does this sensation mean? [ 06/17/13 ]

Age related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a disease of the retina. ARMD is first noticed as blurred central vision, and a sensation that something in your eye is not usually related to this eye disease. Your sensation of having something in your eye can be from a variety of causes including dry eye syndrome or an actual foreign body in the eye. Please visit your eye care specialist and describe your symptoms. An examination should be able to reveal the source of your foreign body sensation in a relatively straightforward manner.


I took Avastin injections for two years; I then developed a detached retina and needed surgery. Could Avastin have caused this detachment? [ 06/17/13 ]

Avastin itself does not cause retinal detachment. However, any injection into the vitreous cavity of the eye can cause retinal detachment in extremely rare circumstances. Specifically, any injection into the vitreous cavity can cause separation of the vitreous from the retina. When the vitreous separates from the retina, a retinal tear or detachment can occur very rarely. In most trials the rate or retinal tear or detachment after repeated intravitreal injection is less than 2 percent. Importantly, not all retinal tears lead to retinal detachment if detected and treated early. In general the injection procedure into the vitreous cavity is regarded as very safe, and literally millions of these injections are safely performed worldwide yearly.


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 have age-related macular degeneration in both eyes and I have been diagnosed with clear fluid in the retina of my right eye. Are any of the commonly used treatments known to be particularly effective for these conditions? [ 06/17/13 ]

The source of the clear fluid in the right retina will dictate the best treatment. If you have wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and have developed fluid in the retina from new blood vessel growth called choroidal neovascularization, the most effective current treatment is injection of medicine directly into the vitreous cavity. These medicines include Avastin, Eylea, or Lucentis. These medicines have been shown to prevent vision loss in 90% of patients who receive monthly injections, and your retina specialist will help determine which injection is best for you. Many other factors can cause fluid to build up in the retina including inflammation, recent surgery, diabetes, blood vessel occlusion, etc. If your retina fluid is from another cause, treatment should be directed against that cause.


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.


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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