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 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.
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.
Is hair loss one of the side effects from receiving Lucentis injections? If so, will the hair grow back? [ 12/11/12 ]
After researching the scientific literature, no definitive link between hair loss (alopecia) and Lucentis use was found.
Is drinking coffee related to macular degeneration? Both of my parents have this condition and I also would like to know what preventive strategies I can employ. [ 12/11/12 ]
According to a 2001 scientific report published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology (Volume 132, pgs. 271-273) by a University of Wisconsin Medical School research group (Tomany SC, Klein R, and Klein BE), there is no association or link between drinking coffee/caffeine consumption and incidence of macular disease. Preventive strategies are provided in our Macular Degeneration Risk Factors and Prevention section of the website.
Does weight loss slow the progression of macular degeneration? [ 12/11/12 ]
Obesity has long been included in the list of known risk factors for macular degeneration, and one might expect weight loss to indeed have a positive effect in terms of slowing the progression of the disease; however, given that so many variables likely play a role in the development and progression of macular degeneration, and the fact that there are differences between one patient and another, there are no guarantees.