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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.

My son was recently diagnosed with myopic degeneration, and is receiving injections of Avastin (bevacizumab) in his eyes. Will these injections help, or is there anything else that can be done to correct this condition. His right eye is fine, but I am worried that he will get the disease in the other eye. He also has severe nearsightedness. Would surgery in his right eye prevent myopic degeneration? [ 06/17/13 ]

Avastin is not a treatment for myopic degeneration, but it is used to treat new blood vessels that can sometimes grow secondary to myopic degeneration. This new blood vessel growth is called choroidal neovascularization. These Avastin injections are very effective in preventing vision loss from the abnormal blood vessel growth and can sometime improve vision, but only if the vision has been lost due to the new blood vessel growth. Eye injections like Avastin are usually the best available treatment from new blood vessel growth.

Myopic degeneration can cause vision loss for a variety of reasons in addition to new blood vessel growth, and surgery will not prevent progression of myopic degeneration. Sometimes surgery can be used to treat complications of myopic degeneration, such as retinal detachment, however. Myopic degeneration is typically present in both eyes, though it may certainly be worse in one eye compared to the other. If your son is nearsighted in the right eye, he probably has myopic degeneration in that eye also.

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.

In 2001, I had carotid surgery and was prescribed 325 milligrams of aspirin once each day. In 2009, I had aortic valve replacement and was prescribed 85 milligrams of aspirin once daily. Six months later, I was diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Did high aspirin doses contribute to the development of AMD? I have been treated for wet AMD with Avastin injections for three years and soon I will have knee replacement surgery. Is there information that my knee surgeon should know about my AMD treatments? [ 06/17/13 ]

The exactly link between aspirin and worsening of age related macular degeneration (ARMD) is not well understood. For example, three well designed studies have reported a possible association between aspirin usage and worsening of ARMD. Likewise, three other well designed studies did not find an association between aspirin usage and worsening of ARMD. Eye injections for wet ARMD have no known interaction with knee replacement surgery or healing after such a surgery. You can mention to your orthopedic surgeon that you are getting Avastin injections for wet ARMD, as it is important for all your medical providers to know your complete medical history.

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.

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 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.

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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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