Taking high doses of lutein (20mg) for macular degeneration is sometimes recommended by doctors. What is the difference between lutein and lutein esters? [ 12/11/12 ]
Lutein esters are chemically distinct compounds from pure lutein. While lutein can be obtained from ingestion of lutein esters, these compounds must undergo enzymatic processing in the gut prior to being absorbed in the body.
I am now 63 years old, and was diagnosed with macular degeneration in my early 50s. The disease switched from 'dry' to 'wet' before age 60. Both my maternal grandmother and a paternal aunt had this eye condition. I also inherited an aggressive form of Crohn's disease from my father's side of the family. Crohn's interferes with the ability to absorb nutrients. Have any genetic studies yet looked at shared genetic traits for Crohn's and macular degeneration? My younger cousins who have Crohn's need to know if they should be paying more attention to changes in their eyes. [ 12/11/12 ]
There does not appear to be at present any clinical evidence linking or associating Crohn's disease and macular degeneration genetically or otherwise. However, it seems that you have a history of the disease on both sides of your family (paternal and maternal). Because your family has a known incidence of macular disease, and a history of Crohn's disease, which as you mentioned may affect one's ability to properly absorb nutrients, it is highly recommended that your younger cousins and other relatives pay close attention to changes in their eyes. It is important to mention however, that initial changes in vision due to problems with the macula, the portion of the retina affected by macular degeneration, may be very subtle, so complete/comprehensive annual eye exams by an ophthalmologist are very important.
I have dry macular degeneration. I love golf, but my longer shots are a problem. I would like to ask my optician or eye doctor about changes to my prescription that will help me with this problem. Can they help with this issue? I am forever grateful. [ 11/28/12 ]
Asking to check your prescription may be very helpful, especially in fixing your distance vision. The lack of clarity in distance vision may be from a variety of reasons including dry eyes, cataract, or refractive error, in addition to your dry age-related macular degeneration. Your ophthalmologist can help you sort out what issues you might have and how you can address these problems, if possible. He or she will perform an eye exam to identify these causes in addition to the refraction performed to determine if a change in glasses prescription would be beneficial.
My 91-year-old mother-in-law has been taking Avastin injections for the past year or two to slow the progression of wet macular degeneration. Her vision has not improved; in fact she cannot even read the big “E” on the eye chart when she is at the eye doctor’s office. She is becoming discouraged because her eye specialist told her when she started the treatments that her vision should improve, yet it has not. She is now wondering if she should stop the injections. The eye specialist has told me that he would not recommend this because her vision would just get worse, yet I am also wondering how much worse it can get if she can't even see the big E! By the way, my mother-in-law is still driving her car and will not consider giving up her license. When I asked the eye specialist about this, his response to me was that her eye prescription, under Virginia law, made it legal for her to drive. I, of course, think this is crazy. Any suggestions you can offer would be welcome. [ 11/28/12 ]
The eye injections such as Lucentis, Avastin, and Eylea are the currently best available treatments for wet age related macular degeneration (ARMD). These injections have been shown in multiple clinical trials to prevent vision loss in 90 percent of patients, and to improve vision in about 30 – 40 percent. Your mother in eye may not be in the 30 – 40 percent of patients that observe significant visual improvement with the eye injections. The eye injections do not cure wet ARMD, they only control it. Stopping injections thus could lead to the worsening of ARMD and possibly permanent loss of vision. Even though she cannot see the big E now, her vision could certainly deteriorate without treatment and become worse.
Driving requirements varies from state to state; however, typically if the patient has one eye that can see at a designated level and has a specific amount of visual field remaining, he or she is legal to drive. Please confirm with your retina specialist that the vision in the eye that is not undergoing injections is sufficient for legal driving in Virginia.
My eight-month-old son’s eyes appear to look in different directions when he is focusing on something. Also, he doesn't cry and neither eye looks red. I am just concerned. Is there any problem with his eyes? [ 11/28/12 ]
Eye misalignment, called strabismus, is common in children. A very small degree of eye misalignment may not cause issues, but a larger degree of eye misalignment may cause permanent loss of vision in the deviating eye; this is called ambylopia. Your child should be examined by a pediatric ophthalmologist to test for strabismus and ambylopia. Both can be treated very successfully if caught early.
My brother has wet macular degeneration and has been receiving eye injections, which are not helping. The doctor will perform laser treatment. If this doesn't work, how important is it that he keeps getting treatments? He is 75 years old and is under the impression that it doesn't matter if he receives treatments or not. [ 11/28/12 ]
The eye injections such as Lucentis, Avastin, and Eylea are the currently best available treatments to control wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). These injections have been shown in multiple clinical trials to prevent vision loss in 90 percent of patients, and to improve vision in about 30 – 40 percent. Your brother may not be in the 30 – 40 percent of patients that observe significant visual improvement with the eye injections. The eye injections do not cure wet ARMD, they only control it. Stopping injections thus could lead to the worsening of ARMD and possibly permanent loss of vision. Your brother should discuss the benefits and risks of stopping the injections with his retina specialist so that he can make an educated decision based on his specific situation.
Do people ever lose vision completely due to macular degeneration? [ 11/28/12 ]
Many people can completely lose central vision due to age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). In advanced ARMD, though the central vision can become extremely blurry, typically side vision remains. The majority of vision in ARMD is lost in the wet subtype, however now treatments exist which can prevent vision loss in 90 percent of patients with wet ARMD, and can improve vision in 30 – 40 percent.
I am a healthy 56-year-old woman and have glaucoma in my left eye, which was treated with laser surgery approximately eight years ago. I see my ophthalmologist every three months. I was told recently that I have macular degeneration as well, but my sight is not affected as far as I can tell. Since I am relatively young for these diagnoses, is it possible that my sight will remain the same for many years? [ 11/28/12 ]
You are exactly correct in thinking that many people with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) may not notice changes in vision for many years after the onset of the disease. The majority of vision is lost in patients with the wet form ARMD. Certain risk factors can identify patients at higher likelihood of development wet ARMD, so regular follow up visits with your retina specialist is very valuable in early detection of disease progression.