All Eye Care Doctors is your leading source for everything from advanced treatment to eye exams in Cambridge, MA. As part of our commitment to spreading greater awareness of vision health and treatment, we are taking the opportunity to discuss wet macular degeneration (AMD), along with its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
What is Wet Macular Degeneration?
Wet macular degeneration, or wet AMD, is a chronic eye disorder that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in one’s vision. Further, there are two kinds of AMD: wet and dry. The vast majority of the time, wet AMD starts as dry AMD.
Inside the retina of your eyes, there is a zone of cells called the macula that helps you see clearly through your direct line of vision. Dry AMD occurs when the cells beneath the macula begin to break down. This condition may worsen gradually as the years pass, eventually progressing to advanced, or wet, macular degeneration. Wet AMD affects approximately 1/10 of all people with age-related AMD.
What Causes Wet AMD?
The precise cause of wet AMD is not understood. However, we know that the disease is connected to changes in blood vessels towards the back of the eye. In many instances, wet AMD occurs when new blood vessels grow abnormally beneath the retina, causing blood and other fluids to leak into the layers of the retina. At times, excess fluid can even form a cyst within the macula. Either way, the disease can negatively affect your central vision.
What Are Some of the Symptoms?
The symptoms of wet macular degeneration can vary greatly, and may include blind or blurry spots in your field of vision, visual distortions, impaired central vision, or decreased intensity and brightness of colors.
Treatments for Wet AMD
Several treatments are now available that can slow the progression of wet AMD, protect your existing vision, and even restore your lost vision in some instances. Your treatment will depend on your particular medical needs and goals.
Your optometrist may recommend medications such as painless anti-VEGF injections to stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels, as well as procedures such as photodynamic therapy and photocoagulation — both of which use specialized lasers to seal abnormal blood vessels and prevent leaking.
For more information about wet macular degeneration, see our press release here. You can also learn more about wet AMD or find out more about prescription eyewear in Cambridge, MA by visiting All Eye Care Doctors today!