Eye Care: The Wonders of Technology

Immaculate Degeneration: What It Is And How You Can Treat It

by Stella Robinson

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness among middle-aged adults and the elderly. There are two types of macular degeneration: dry and wet. Here is what dry and wet macular degeneration is and what you can do to try to minimize the effects of the disease.

Dry Macular Degeneration

Dry macular degeneration (DMD) occurs when the tissue on the back wall of your eye behind the retina begins to deteriorate. This will affect your central vision and make it difficult to perform tasks where you have to look straight ahead – like when you read or drive. The symptoms can be mild or strong, and may only affect one eye. If the disease doesn't affect the other eye, you can live for years without noticing any changes in your vision, because the strong eye can compensate for the lack of vision in the diseased eye. Dry macular degeneration typical evolves slowly over time, but can change into the more serious form of the disease (called wet macular degeneration) at any time and without notice.

DMD Treatment

Your lifestyle habits can make a big difference in how fast DMD advances from mild to severe symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with DMD, you should make the following lifestyle changes to try to mitigate the harm the disease can cause you:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants like kale, peas, spinach, blueberries, and strawberries.
  • Use olive oil instead of butter and trans fats when cooking.
  • Eat fish – especially tuna, salmon, and sardines.
  • Eat whole grain bread instead of white bread.
  • Take high doses (under your ophthalmologist's supervision) of vitamin A, C, E, along with doses of zinc and copper.

Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet macular deterioration (WMD) happens when abnormal blood vessels grow behind your retinas and they start to leak fluid and blood that blocks the vision in your eyes. This condition affects roughly 10 percent of those affected by macular degeneration, but it leads to 90 percent of cases where the person affected becomes legally blind.

WMD Treatment

Your ophthalmologist may inject drugs like bevicizumab and pegaptanib into your eyes to stem the growth of the abnormal blood vessels. Your ophthalmologist can also treat you by using photodynamic and laser therapies to close and block the abnormal blood vessels in your eyes.

Changes in your vision should always be checked by an ophthalmologist. If you do have dry or wet macular degeneration, the earlier you start treatment the better you'll be able to control the effects the disease has on your eyes.

If you're interested in learning more about these conditions, visit http://www.drgrantmdretinalspecialist.com and get in contact with an ophthalmologist.