Can Macular Degeneration Go Into Remission?
Dr. Mai-Vy Hoang 02/21/2017
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. It's caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina (the macula), which focuses your vision for activities such as reading, driving a car, recognizing faces, and more.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for macular degeneration, and there's still a lot to learn about the disease. Several risk factors are known, however, and certain treatments may slow the disease's progression.
Treating Macular Degeneration
Choosing the proper treatment for each patient depends on several factors, including whether the disease is in its early stage, and whether it's the dry form of macular degeneration or the more advanced wet form.
Macular degeneration in its "dry" form consists of the yellow deposits in the macula called drusen. These can dim or distort vision as they grow in size and number. The majority of patients have dry form macular degeneration.
Treating dry form macular degeneration
Extensive scientific research has shown that antioxidant vitamins may reduce the severity of macular degeneration and slow its progression. The study showed that patients with dry form macular degeneration who took a dietary supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zinc, and zeaxanthin were at lower risk for their disease to progress to advanced stages.
Other studies have shown that women taking a combination of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 may have a reduced risk of developing macular degeneration.
The bottom line is that strong evidence exists that macular degeneration and other eye diseases may be linked to vitamin deficiency.
Wet form macular degeneration involves the formation of abnormal blood vessels underneath the macula. These blood vessels leak blood/fluid into the retina and distort vision and eventually form a scar that causes a permanent loss of central vision.
Treating wet form macular degeneration
The most common treatment for wet macular degeneration for many years has been Laser Photocoagulation but treatments today include Anti-VEGF Therapy, which involves periodic injections into the eye of a chemical known as anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). Researchers have reported positive results for anti-VEGF therapy, including a far slower progression of the disease and, in some cases, improved vision.
While a cure for macular degeneration doesn't exist, certain treatments have been shown to slow the disease's progress or even cause it to go into "remission." In any case, early detection of the disease by your eye doctor is vital.
The professionals at Broome Optical treat macular degeneration and other diseases of the eye. Broome has been serving the Amarillo area for over 80 years. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about your eyes and macular degeneration.