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Latest Questions and Answers
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.


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.


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.


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.


My son and grandson have both been diagnosed with Best disease, and I have age-related macular degeneration. On August 29, 2012 I had a cataract extraction and lens replacement surgery on my right eye and it has been a miracle for me. Is there any relationship between macular degeneration and Best disease? I have worn eye glasses since I was a young child but doctors NEVER mentioned Best disease, and it still has not been mentioned! My son's right eye is now legally blind and the left one is also being affected. He is a general building contractor and it is causing him to have to consider giving up his business. Any information you can give me would be deeply appreciate. Please help me in helping him find answers to this serious problem. [ 11/28/12 ]

Best's macular dystrophy is a separate disease from age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). If you have dilated examinations of the retina regularly, it is unlikely that you have Best macular dystrophy, but please confirm this with your retina specialist. Typically Best macular dystrophy only causes mild vision loss until the advanced stages; however, this disease can cause significant vision loss later on in life. You can read more about this disease on the EyeWiki site where ophthalmologists, other physicians, patients, and the public can view an eye encyclopedia of content written by ophthalmologists. Your son may benefit from evaluation from a low vision specialist. While the low vision specialist cannot improve vision from Best macular dystrophy, he or she can help obtain training, develop strategies, and obtain assistive devices so that your son can accomplish daily tasks.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is a public service of the BrightFocus Foundation and should not in any way substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional; it is not intended to constitute medical advice. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. BrightFocus Foundation does not endorse any medical product or therapy. All medications and supplements should only be taken under medical supervision. Also, although we make every effort to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the posted information reflects the most up-to-date research.

Some of the content in this section is adapted from other sources, which are clearly identified within each individual item of information.

Last Review: 04/26/13


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