I have dry macular degeneration. Does taking aspirin affect the onset of wet macular degeneration? [ 12/20/12 ]
Some studies have reported an increased association between aspirin consumption and a slight increase in rates of various types of late-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD. This theory is still undergoing study, as the association shown does not prove cause and effect. In other words, these studies do not explain how aspirin might be causing increased progression of AMD, only that it people at higher risk for AMD are often taking aspirin. Aspirin is often prescribed against pain and heart disease, and is used regularly by about nearly 1 in 5 people in the US.
It is always prudent to consult your physician(s) before taking supplements and either over-the-counter or prescription medications. Your physician will be able to help balance potential risks against the other potential health benefits of any activity, including taking aspirin.
Approximately five years ago I was diagnosed with dry macular degeneration. During a recent eye exam, the doctor informed me that I have developed wet macular degeneration in my left eye. My vision is limited and is very blurry. I am scheduled to receive a series of three injections. How long will the effects of the injections last and does it mean that the right eye will also develop the wet form of this disease? [ 12/17/12 ]
A minority of patients (about 10%) with dry-age related macular degeneration (ARMD) convert to wet ARMD and the most effective treatment for wet ARMD is an injection of a certain type of medication into the eye. In multiple clinical trials, these medications preserved vision in 90% of patients, but improved vision in only 40% of patients. People require different frequencies of treatment, and the most common dosing plan is monthly.
If the left eye has wet ARMD, the right eye is at higher risk of developing wet ARMD. The risk can be as high as 75% in the next five years depending on whether certain features were observed in the right eye during the examinations.
My daughter was diagnosed with heredomacular degeneration when she was six years old. Are there any treatments or strategies to prevent further deterioration of her vision? [ 12/17/12 ]
There are many types of rare macular degeneration that are inherited and seen commonly in children. Without knowing the specific type of inherited macular degeneration your daughter has, it is not possible to specifically share a particular prognosis or treatment strategy to preserve vision. Your daughter may benefit from evaluation by a specialist in inherited retinal diseases. These specialists can be found in large academic centers, and may be able to share with you more about the prognosis of your daughter's disease, eligibility for clinical trials, and strategies to maximize vision and visual function.
I am 43 years old and have a history of multiple sclerosis and leukemia. I have been diagnosed with dry macular degeneration and was wondering if my medical history could have something to do with the macular degeneration, and would like to know the most common cause of macular degeneration. [ 12/17/12 ]
Neither leukemia nor multiple sclerosis has been linked to more frequently developing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). The exact cause of ARMD is not known, but is thought to be related to genetic factors combined with environmental exposures. For example, ARMD is more common in people of Northern European ancestry and also more common in heavy smokers.
I had oral surgery, which resulted in a full blown infection. After two days I was prescribed an antibiotic. Can infections cause macular degeneration? The follow-up eye exam showed that my visual acuity decreased from 20/70 to 20/100. Was this a result of the infection? [ 12/17/12 ]
Infections have not been shown to cause or worsen age-related macular degeneration. Your vision could be slightly worse for a variety of other reasons after the infection, including something as simple as dryness of the ocular surface. If your visual acuity does not return to the baseline 20/70, please ask your eye specialist to describe to you any changes he or she might note compared to your pre-infection exam. A variation of 20/70 to 20/100 could also be related to testing conditions such as brightness of the room, minor differences in distance to the chart, etc.
What is senile macular degeneration, and can you tell me what a retinal defect without detachment means? [ 12/17/12 ]
Senile or age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the most common type of macular degeneration and this occurs after 55 years of age. Some would interpret the term “senile” as pejorative, and thus “age-related macular degeneration” is the more commonly used term.
A “retinal defect without detachment” is a complete absence of retinal tissue without fluid underneath the retina nearby. Some of these retinal defects lead to fluid underneath the retina and latter retinal detachment, and some retinal defects do not.
I am 63 years old and have macular degeneration. I recently had cataract surgery, and immediately the vision in my right eye became foggy; instead of seeing straight lines I perceived them as wavy. I had also had cataract surgery on the other eye and probably 90 percent of the time I can hardly open my eyes at when I am outdoors. My eyes are very sensitive. I wish I would have not had the surgery. The doctors never told me anything about this possibility and my life has changed so much. What else could happen to my eyes as a result of the surgeries? [ 12/17/12 ]
Your right eye could be blurry for a variety of reasons including things related to your cataract surgery and/or your age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). You may be light sensitive for a variety of reasons related to one or both processes as well. Without a complete eye exam and possible testing, it would be difficult to differentiate between the multiple things that could be causing your symptoms based on your description alone. You might also consider getting a second opinion from a retina specialist regarding the prognosis of your symptoms and what could be causing those symptoms.
I have wet age-related macular degeneration in one eye. How likely is it that the other eye be affected? [ 12/17/12 ]
If the one eye has wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) the other eye is at higher risk of developing wet ARMD. The risk can be as low as 10 percent and as high as 75 percent in the next five years depending on whether certain features were observed in the eye with dry ARMD. Speak to a retina specialist about your eye exam findings, what specific risk you have for developing wet ARMD, and if you would benefit from taking a formula of eye vitamins for patients with high risk dry ARMD. This vitamin formula has been shown to help prevent conversion of dry ARMD to wet ARMD in a certain subset of patients.