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Latest Questions and Answers
My mother has age-related macular degeneration and has recently been seeing pink or green "floaters." Does this represent new bleeding? How concerned should she be? [ 05/17/13 ]

Floaters are sometimes the symptoms of bleeding in the eye, though usually not from bleeding due to wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). Typically the bleeding from wet ARMD causes loss of central vision. An examination from your eye specialist can identify if any bleeding is present inside the eye, and what treatment should be performed to address the bleeding.

My previous doctor prescribed antibiotic drops three days before injections for wet macular degeneration, and discontinued the shot into the nerve. I moved, and the present doctor doesn’t like that I refuse the nerve shot. He also doesn't prescribe antibiotic drops before the injection of Lucentis. What is the recent research on prescribing antibiotics before the injection? [ 05/17/13 ]

Practices vary widely on using antibiotic drops before or after Lucentis injections for wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). No study has shown that antibiotic drops actually decrease the risk of severe eye infection after serial eye injections. In fact, other studies suggest that getting repeated short courses of eye drops around injections may actually lead to antibiotic resistant eye bacteria. Harboring antibiotic resistant bacteria could lead to infections with these same resistant bacteria. Many retina specialists do not use antibiotic drops before or after eye injections, however this change has been recent.

Injections of Lucentis have stopped the progression of my husband's age-related macular degeneration. Would Eyelea injections actually offer improvement? [ 05/17/13 ]

Research has shown that Eylea is about as effective as Lucentis in the general population of patients suffering from wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). No study has shown that Eylea is superior to Lucentis, or that Eylea offers additional benefit after serial Lucentis injections. Some patients respond more favorably to one medicine versus the other, so discuss a trial of Eylea with your husband’s retina specialist. Keep in mind that your husband may also respond less well to Eylea than Lucentis, and could actually lose vision by changing injections.

My blood was positive for anti-retinal autoantibodies, which may indicate autoimmune retinopathy. Is this a form of macular degeneration? [ 05/17/13 ]

Anti-retinal antibodies have been linked to autoimmune retinopathy. However, anti-retinal antibodies are present to some degree in the normal population as well. Please discuss this with your retina specialist to find out the meaning of your specific result. Autoimmune retinopathy is not a type of macular degeneration, but instead a disease where the immune system attacks the retinal photoreceptors for unknown reasons. Rapid, painless, loss of vision in both eyes typically characterizes autoimmune retinopathy.

I have macular degeneration and my eyes hurt most of the time. Does macular degeneration cause pain? [ 05/17/13 ]

Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) does not typically cause pain. Eye pain can be caused from a variety of reasons, some harmless, and some dangerous. Please have a complete eye examination to determine the cause of your eye pain. Also, pain felt in the eye may originate from around the eye. One example would be pain from the sinuses manifesting as eye pain. Your eye specialist can provide you with appropriate referral if your eye examination is unremarkable.

I have received 13 injections of Lucentis in left eye and six in my right eye. I am concerned because the left eye has become gradually worse and I am afraid my right eye might end it up the same. Thank you for your input. [ 05/17/13 ]

Researchers have shown that repeated monthly Lucentis injections can prevent vision loss in 90% of patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and improve vision in 30 percent of patients with wet ARMD. Your left eye may be in the 10 percent that loses vision even with serial Lucentis injections. Please discuss the slow vision loss with your retina specialist to determine if a change in the frequency of eye injections or a change of therapy might be beneficial. Your right eye also has a 10 percent chance of vision loss despite repeated Lucentis injections.

I am a 46 year-old-male with wet macular degeneration. I have been receiving Avastin every four to five weeks since mid-December 2012 and there are still issues with the blood vessels leaking. I was lifting an item of around 100 pounds from ground level to waist height and lost vision instantly in my left eye. Can the increased pressure in the macular region cause retinal hemorrhage and activate the onset of this disease? [ 05/17/13 ]

Heavy lifting can cause blood vessels to burst inside the eye in anyone and can cause bleeding underneath, inside, or above the retina. Heavy lifting can cause blood vessel bursting independent of any type of macular degeneration and is not related to activation of or the onset of any type of this eye disease. Your retina specialist can confirm if any bleeding occurred within the eye and recommend a treatment plan based on the extent of your bleeding.

What effect does fluorescent lighting in the home have on macular degeneration? What is the UVB or UVC of a 32 watt bulb? [ 03/12/13 ]

Ultraviolet (or UV) light can be a concern for persons with macular degeneration, and care should be taken to avoid it. While sunlight is the most common source, UV lighting can be derived from other sources (including the light emitted by tanning beds). In addition, there has been some suggestion, though it’s currently under debate by experts, that the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell layer in the retina can be damaged by a process called oxidative stress due to exposure to a part of the visual spectrum, called “blue light” (that can be emitted in small amounts by some electronic devices, like cell phones, tablets, and computers, and energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs and LED lights). However, whether this poses an increased risk for macular degeneration has not yet been determined.

Information specific to the UV emission of a particular bulb should be available on the packaging or can be found on the specific manufacturer’s website; that is the best source for the most accurate information specific to your particular brand and design of bulb.

It should be noted that some people are at greater risk for eye damage from the sun, including those who are taking drugs that make the skin (and eyes) more sensitive to light. In addition, the risk of eye damage also increases in those who do not properly protect their eyes against light from tanning beds, snowfields, arc welding, or solar eclipses.

For more information on UV light safety and your eyes, please visit the following websites from the American Academy for Ophthalmology and the National Eye Institute:

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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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