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.
My current ophthalmologist has recently indicated that I will be completing treatment soon. I had understood that I needed to continue receiving injections for the rest of my life. Isn't there a danger of losing my eyesight if I don't continue treatment? [ 12/17/12 ]
Intravitreal eye injections such as Avastin, Lucentis, and Eylea are the most common treatment for wet age related macular degeneration (ARMD), however these eye injections do not cure the disease; the injection only controls the ARMD. It is not uncommon to eventually require treatment again after stopping the intravitreal eye injections as the wet ARMD can reactivate. Sometimes vision can be permanently lost when wet ARMD activates again after cessation of intravitreal treatment, even if therapy is restarted.
My 32-year-old son has suffered from wet macular degeneration since the age of 15, when it was discovered in his right eye; there was nothing anyone could do about it. At the age of 20, the left eye started deteriorating and there was evidence of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). He had been treated with about eleven photodynamic treatments and three Avastin injections in his left eye. The scar keeps growing and his vision is becoming worse. We live in Israel, and the eye test results are around 6/30 in both eyes. (I am not familiar with your measuring system) Is there any way to help him and stop this deterioration? [ 12/17/12 ]
Wet age-related macular degeneration typically does not manifest itself in patients younger than 55 years of age. Your son has likely developed choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to a different type of macular degeneration. Both Avastin and photodynamic therapy are common treatments for CNV. Without knowing the specific subtype of macular degeneration or seeing the results of the clinical exam, I cannot give a specific prognosis or treatment recommendation to preserve vision. Your son may benefit from evaluation by a low vision specialist. This specialist can help your son maximize his remaining vision with various assistive devices and training.
My doctor removes fluid each time I receive Avastin; this has been going on for about five months and it is extremely uncomfortable. He says that this is necessary because I had a “glaucomic” reaction the first time and went blind for four hours. I still lose some vision momentarily after the injections, but it returns. I am developing floaters from the vitreous fluid detaching and I believe this could be from the injections. The floaters are also annoying alongside the weird vision, which has gotten better, but it is still not great. I’m still bleeding slightly and the doctor feels that I need to continue receiving them regardless. Should I continue with the injections, but spread them out more than 4 weeks apart? What else is there to do? [ 12/17/12 ]
Avastin is a common treatment for wet-age related macular degeneration (ARMD), however this eye injection does not cure the disease. Instead Avastin only controls ARMD. It is not uncommon to eventually require treatment again after stopping Avastin as the wet ARMD will recur, and many patients require lifelong Avastin therapy. If you have an eye pressure rise after the injection, the eye fluid may need to be removed after the injection to prevent vision loss from glaucomatous damage to your optic nerve. Some patients can receive Avastin injections less frequently than every four weeks, so talk with your retina specialist to see if you meet criteria for an extended dosing interval. The Avastin is typically dosed every four weeks, however, if the bleeding is still active. Another eye injection, called Eylea, can require less frequent dosing after a certain interval of monthly treatments. You can also ask your retina specialist if you are a candidate to receive Eylea injections instead, but you will still likely need to have fluid removed from the eye afterwards.
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.
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.
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 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.