Age-related macular degeneration, also called AMD, is a common eye condition that usually affects older adults. If you have been told you may have AMD and live or work in the Reading PA area, schedule an appointment with the top specialists at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania to discuss your treatment options.
Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania provides state-of-the-art AMD care in Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon, Montgomery and Schuylkill counties, using the latest techniques and treatments. All of our doctors are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and continually update their skills and knowledge to offer patients the latest advancements in eye care.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a common eye condition that affects the macula, which is the part of the retina that allows you to see fine detail to read or drive. There are two forms – wet and dry.
- Dry AMD is diagnosed when yellowish deposits known as drusen begin to accumulate in and around the macula. Drusen are often found in people over age 50. Dry AMD is more common than wet AMD; nearly 90% of AMD patients are diagnosed with dry AMD.
- Wet AMD is considered advanced AMD and occurs when new blood vessels grow underneath the retina and leak blood and fluid. This causes permanent damage to light-sensitive retinal cells and creates blind spots in the central vision. The wet form of AMD usually leads to more serious vision loss.
AMD is detected during a comprehensive dilated eye exam that includes a visual acuity test that measures how well you see at various distances. In the dilated eye exam, drops are placed in your eyes to widen, or dilate, the pupils. Your eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and optic nerve for signs of AMD and other eye problems.
How is AMD Treated?
Treatments for AMD depend on whether the disease is in its early stage, its dry form, or in the more advanced wet form.
There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for dry AMD and, once it reaches an advanced stage, no treatment can prevent vision loss. However, some studies have suggested that taking certain vitamins and minerals may slow the progression of the disease.
Wet AMD can be treated with laser surgery, photodynamic therapy (PDT) with or without injection of steroids into the eye, and prescription drugs that are painlessly injected into the eye in an attempt to stop abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina. These treatments have been shown to improve vision in a significant number of people with macular degeneration, but AMD and vision loss may progress despite treatment.
If you’ve been told you have AMD, get in touch with the top macular degeneration specialists in the Reading, PA area at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania to learn more about treatment options. Treatment can delay and possibly prevent intermediate AMD from progressing to the advanced stage.