Know Your Treatment Options for AMD

Macular degeneration is a very common eye disease in people aged 65 and older and it’s a leading cause of vision loss worldwide. There are different treatment options available which will be explained below.

Know Your Treatment Options for AMD in Bellflower

AMD Treatment

It is very important to see your eye doctor if you have a family history of macular degeneration, if you’re in the age group of 65 or older, or you have any suspicions of developing AMD so that you can get a thorough exam, and if necessary your eye doctor will provide the proper diagnosis and treatment. Macular Degeneration is an eye condition that can damage your central vision, but there are many wonderful resources available. It’s important to consult with your eye doctor who can advise you what the best plan of action is in order to maintain your vision and general eye health.

There are two types of macular degeneration. There is the more mild and much more common dry AMD which does not usually cause significant damage, however it could lead to the more rare wet AMD which can cause vision loss. Therefore early diagnosis is crucial so that the proper steps can be taken in order to prevent dry AMD from turning into wet macular degeneration. For people who have developed wet AMD there is treatment available to stop or even reverse vision loss.

Amplify Eyecare of Greater Long Beach

Treatment

Dry AMD

For this condition, the main goal is early detection and preventing dry AMD from turning into wet AMD. The dry category does not cause damage to our vision but it’s a warning that the retina is at high risk for developing unstable blood vessels which can cause wet macular degeneration.

If you have dry AMD, your eye doctor will recommend a supplement in order to prevent future damage from wet macular degeneration. As a result of a series of studies called Age Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS2), a combination of vitamins has been developed that can help prevent the progression of AMD. The supplement contains vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and copper.

In addition, your eye doctor will recommend that you do a quick and easy at home screening test to make sure that your condition is not turning into wet AMD. All it takes is a small black and white card that you can use called the Amsler grid. This is an extremely helpful tool that is used to assess any changes in your vision which could be a sign for wet macular degeneration. Every day you spend just a few seconds looking at this grid with one eye open and the other closed so that you can detect if there are any changes in each eye over time. If any of the straight lines on the Amsler grid begin to appear distorted or wavy or if part of the lines on the grid disappear then you know to consult your eye doctor who can check if there are any changes in your retina that could lead to wet AMD.

Wet AMD

In wet AMD, the damage is caused by abnormal new blood vessels that form in the retina. The source of these blood cells are proteins called VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and therefore in order to treat this condition, effective injections are used called anti-VEGF which directly block the source of the issue. This treatment can stop vision loss and can even reverse the damage caused by AMD.

The eye is first numbed to ensure that no pain will be felt when the injections are administered. Currently the anti-VEGF drugs are given every 4-6 weeks, however there is a tremendous amount of research taking place to improve this. There is hope that developments are being made to avoid frequent injections. Furthermore, there is research taking place to find a cure that can essentially get rid of macular degeneration.

Common Questions

VEGF is an acronym which stands for vascular endothelial growth factor and it's a protein that plays a crucial role in developing new blood vessels. In wet AMD, there is a growth spurt of these new blood vessels, however they are unstable, very damaging and must be treated. The anti-VEGF drugs are injected into the eye in order to stop the growth of these abnormal blood vessels. Prior to the injections, the eye is numbed so that no pain will be felt during the treatment. As of now, these anti-VEGF injections are administered every four to six weeks. A tremendous amount of research and efforts are being invested to develop new types of anti-VEGF treatment which will not require frequent administration. In addition, there is hope that treatments being developed today will also cure the disease.
If wet macular degeneration is not treated, it can cause on. The good news is that there is treatment available to slow down and even prevent vision loss. If you start treatment early then it's possible to reverse some of the visual damage that has already been caused by this disease. The goal of the treatment is to block the VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) which is responsible for triggering the growth of unstable blood vessels under your retina. These blood vessels can cause damage to your vision when they begin to leak, hence the name wet macular degeneration. Thankfully there are Anti-VEGF injections which directly treat the source of the damage by blocking the VEGF. It's important to note that great research is being performed to increase the chances of reversing the visual damage that this disease can cause.
Know Your Treatment Options for AMD
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Summary

Understanding this eye disease and consulting your eye doctor is so crucial to properly treat macular degeneration. When detected early enough, damage from AMD can be prevented by taking the proper precautions. If the condition has advanced to a stage that could cause vision loss, there is effective treatment which directly blocks the source of the damage. Please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at our office so you can be checked for macular degeneration and provided the proper treatment when necessary.

Testimonials


  • I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


    Claire A.

  • Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.


    Jim K.

  • My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


    Teresa S.

  • The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


    Joe M.

  • I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.


    Kayla W.

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