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.
If someone receives two Eylea injections, can they terminate the rest of the shots without adverse effects? [ 12/17/12 ]
Eylea is a common treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), however this eye injection does not cure the disease; the injection only controls the disease. Some patients require lifelong treatment. Stopping ARMD treatment with Eylea before the wet ARMD is completely under control may result in permanent vision loss, or loss of the ability to improve vision with subsequent injections. Please talk with your retina specialist about your specific reasons for wanting to stop the Eylea injections as this action may have substantial impact your vision.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.