FAQ - Macular Degeneration
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macular degeneration?

macular degeneration runs in my family, and for years i have had a blind spot in both eyes, but in my peripheral vision. i did some research and found that macular degeneration cannot occur in your peripheral vision... what is it then? ps im 16

Macular degeneration is a disease involving the centre of the retina(Macula).It can never cause a blind spot in your peripheral vision.Get your eyes checked.It could be something else.  (+ info)

Macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is my problem and what can be done about it?

There is no cure or treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) at this time. You may not have significant problems with your vision for many years. Vision loss happens very slowly and is usually not severe. It often affects only one eye, and you may be able to adjust for the vision loss with the unaffected eye. If you have dry AMD, follow your doctor's recommendations for having regular exams and monitoring the condition at home (such as using an Amsler grid), because dry AMD may sometimes develop into wet AMD. In a few cases, wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), which is the more serious form of the disease, can be treated with thermal laser photocoagulation surgery or photodynamic therapy (PDT). Treatment cannot cure AMD, but it can stop its progression. Other types of surgery and treatments using radiation or medicines are being investigated, but these are considered experimental and are not part of standard treatment. Not all cases of wet AMD can be treated. Only about 10% to 15% of cases can be effectively treated with laser photocoagulation surgery, and only about 20% to 30% of cases can be treated with PDT.Treatment cannot restore vision, but it can sometimes slow down or delay further damage to your central vision. However, in most cases growth of fragile new blood vessels in wet AMD recurs, and even repeated treatment is not usually effective over the long term in preventing some loss of central vision. Because wet AMD often causes rapid and severe loss of central vision, it is important not to delay treatment if your doctor recommends it.  (+ info)

Macular Degeneration?

I went to the eye doctor this morning for a comprehensive exam, mainly to see if I needed glasses (which of course i do). The doctor stated that I had drusen and diagnosed me with macular degeneration. I have googled and googled but I guess I am not clearly understanding simple things. I need statistics like how many people will actually go blind, can I retard the progression and for how long...And did I mention that I am only 40? I am struggling right now with what did I do to cause this. Any and all help appreciated.

You might look at it this way. Did you ever go outside and take a magnifying glass and burn a piece of paper, or wood, or leaf, or do the boyscout start the fire thing with the lens?

In doing so, you take a few square inches of light from the sun and focus it to a point. There's so much energy there that heat is produced...causes a fire.

You have in each eye a lens system that focuses light directly on the back of your eye, right in the middle (macula). And you're surprised that after 40 years you've cooked the thing!

Why didn't you cook it when you were younger? Well, you did, but the circulation around the macular region, especially beneath it, in the choroid, acts as a cooling radiator like membrane. It also removes the little toxic molecules or super-oxides, or oxygen radicals or ?. And when you are young, that circulation is so good, no damage occurs.

But as we get a little older, we get rusty pipes. The circulation slows or becomes less efficient. So anything that might contribute to cardiovascular disease will make macular disease progress faster, or be associated with it...such as smoking.

Your tendency for vascular disease and macular disease also has a genetic component. Nutrition may also play a role in providing molecules that prevent oxidative damage or move the toxins away faster by binding them one way or another.

Drusen are a sign of this damage. Taking the omega-3 substance helps with heart disease, AMD too. Kale helps too. Some pills work too. (vitamin E, C, Beta Carotene, Zinc/copper).

It doesn't blind people as in total blind. It makes it hard to see detail, read, be able to drive, recognize faces. No one goes black blind from this.

You should be able to hold off for a long time the worsening of this process with the supplements mentioned. Dark glasses also help. The brown/polarized ones seem the most comfortable and provide a lot of protection.

With this basic idea of AMD now read the long one. It'll make more sense.  (+ info)

What is the very first symptom of macular degeneration?

What is the very first sign/symptom of macular degeneration? What does a drastic change in vision in one eye mean?
What are the symptoms of macular degeneration? Can macular degeneration, caused by arthritis medication, be stooped?
If it can be detected early, and is caused by an arthritis medication, can it be reversed when the meds are discontinued, or will the degeneration continue once it starts?


swollen testacles  (+ info)

How do you maintain your independence with macular degeneration?

My 78 year old step dad has advanced macular degeneration. He used to enjoy cutting the grass, cooking and reading crossword puzzles. Please share any information that is useful in maintaining his independence. Thank You.

Hi, and this is a good question !
I will just elaborate a little more on the first answer.
There are many visual aids available through the Braille Institute, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and online companies that will send you catalogs of their products.
There are products such as talking watches, screens to magnify television screens, clocks and telephones with large and dark lettering and numbering, monoculars for long-distance viewing, and cctv's for intense magnification, along with so much more.
I recommend that you try to get him involved with a local Braille Institute asap. They have classes for all ages of visually impaired people, subjects such as cooking and art, learning Braille, and orientation and mobility, and how to adapt to macular degeneration. They will also issue him a library of congress card, which allows him to check out several large print books at a time., or even books on tape. Braille Institute even has private buses that will pick him up for classes.
If he is resistant to wanting to go the Braille Institute route, I suggest that you discuss the benefits of getting a social worker for his case, who can point him in similar directions.
I think that it is wonderful that you are asking!  (+ info)

If someone has Diabetes and macular degeneration, Do they still need to have a yearly dilated eye exam?

I have a couple of diabetic patients that state they do not need to have a dilated eye exam since they have macular degeneration. If this is true,what is the rationale behind this?If not true, what is the rationale?

Macular degeneration (MD) is just one of the complications of diabetes affecting the eye. With MD, one's visual acuity certainly goes down but can still perceive light & gross motion (blurry). So the eye is still useful.

The dreaded complication however is retinopathy. As everywhere in the body, vessels in the eye are also affected (due to excess of glucose in the blood, certain products are formed that deposit in the vessel wall. This makes them stiff and narrow) So with retinopathy,
1. The stiff vessels are not flexible & can burst causing a bleed in the eye rendering it completely blind.

2. The narrow stiff vessels lead to less oxygen delivered to the retina. Due to body's intrinsic reflexes, certain chemicals are released in the areas that do not get blood (oxygen) which forms new blood vessels in an attempt to increase oxygen delivery. However, these "new" blood vessels aren't perfect and easily burst & bleed leading to complete blindness.

3. Small bleeds (that do not cause blindness) eventually heal with scaring (like a contusion anywhere else in the body). The scar tissue contracts. This detaches the retina from its "bed" leading to retinal detachment and eventual degeneration and consequent complete blindness.

I dont intend to give a lecture in ophhtalmology, but you see, it is imperative for regular eye check up in diabetics. Needless to say, pristine glucose control is imperative!

Good luck with your patients... convincing them is quite a job (my mom is a diabetic with retinopathy so I know what it takes to get her to the doc!)  (+ info)

Is another symptom of macular degeneration the need for brighter light to see?

My dad has Macular Degeneration and seems to need brighter and brighter light to see. This is even in daylight hours. I just want to make sure I'm not missing something and that there's something else going on along with the Macular Degeneration.

According to the website Macular Degeneration Support blurry vision that goes away in bright light is a symptom of dry macular degeneration. If your father is continuing to require brighter and brighter lights, this could be a sign of the disease progressing into the advanced form of the disease. In any case, a visit to your eye care specialist may be required to confirm that there is nothing else that is causing this problem.  (+ info)

Can you tell me about the macular degeneration treatment Dr. Oz talked about on Oprah this week?

A friend told my Mom that Dr. Oz talked about a treatment for macular degeneration last week. Can you tell me anything about it or just what it is called?

I believe it is the treatment where they put stem cells right into the retina and it causes regeneration to occur.  (+ info)

How long does it take for severe damage to be done with macular degeneration?

My mother, who is diabetic, was diagnosed today with early macular degeneration. How long before her vision is significantly compromised?

While even people with good control may suffer complications it is known that diabetic complications progresses more rapidly with poor control and good control will slow its progress. Some complications like Neuropathy will actually reverse with good control not sure about macular degeneration. There is also an age related form of macular degeneration. The good news is that you don't need to worry if you can't maintain good control at all times. You still gain the benefits from the periods of good control that are never completely negated by the periods of poor control. Have her to the Eye Dr. at least once a year. As long as she can maintain good control and her exams show no progression the answer is a long time. If there is a noticeable change from year to year you will have the opportunity to discuss other treatment options with the Eye Dr. and or lifestyle changes you will need to make.  (+ info)

Are there any medical advances on treating macular degeneration disease?

Macular degeneration has been untreatable and irreversible, my question is, are there any new advances like eye transplants or macular cell transplants, and if not, when in the future can this be taking place ?

There was also something a few months ago about stem cells being injected directly into the retina that has shown very promising results in mice.

The article said that there was a lot of research to go before it could be tried on humans. Something like 6 or 8 years more of testing has to be done.  (+ info)

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