Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration is an eye disease that causes central vision loss. It is the leading cause of central vision loss among older people. It is caused by changes to the macula, the area of the retina responsible for clear, sharp vision.

There are two main types. The first type is when the tissue of the macula becomes thin and stops working well. As the condition advances a dark or empty area often appears in the center of vision. 90 percent of patients with macular degeneration have this type.

The second type can be an extension of the first type. As the macula becomes thin, new blood vessels sometimes form. These blood vessels can leak fluids which can cause vision loss. Of the two types, the latter type where blood can seep into the region of the macula or wet type is the far more devastating type. Vision can drop down to not being able to see the big E on the eye chart in a very short period of time.

Fortunately there is now a new option for the wet type. A new treatment is now being used which has helped stop the vision loss and in some even reversed the loss. This treatment involves injecting a medication into the back of the eye using a needle. Only a retina specialist can do the procedure.

The biggest downfall to the new treatment is the drug only lasts for about 6 weeks and then has to be repeated. This can go on for over a year depending on whether improvement in vision is occurring and if there is a reduction in bleeding in the macula area.

While this procedure has not worked for every patient, many have had an improvement in their vision. There is now hope where there was little that could be done before this medication was available.