Macular degeneration is a medical condition, usually of older adults, which results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field because of damage to the retina. It occurs in “dry” and “wet” forms.
Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life. It does not cause total blindness.
In the dry (nonexudative) form, cellular debris called drusen accumulates under the retina. Sometimes the retina can become detached. In the wet (exudative) form, which is more severe, blood vessels grow up from the choroid behind the retina, and the retina can also become detached. It can be treated with laser coagulation, and with medication that stops and sometimes reverses the growth of blood vessels.
Vitamin supplements with high doses of antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, have been demonstrated by the National Eye Institute and others to slow the progression of dry macular degeneration and, in some patients, improve visual acuity. Until recently, no effective treatments were known for wet macular degeneration. However, new drugs, called anti-angiogenics or anti-VEGF (anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) agents,
can cause regression of the abnormal blood vessels and improvement of vision
The course of the disease is variable. Sometimes it gets worse and sometimes not. You should see Dr Mitnick or a specialist atleast once a year to check for possible complications.
There are some things that you can do.
1. Keep the sun out of your eyes. Wear a hat with a brim when you are out in the sun.
2. In some cases, taking vitamins can help to prevent worsening. If Dr. Mitnick tells you to take vitamins, here are the names of some good ones.
-Zeaxanthin with Lutein (available in our office, $12 for 60 capsules)
-Lcaps lutein and Zeathanthin formula
- Any vitamin with Zinc and Copper and andoxidant vitamins (C,A,E)