Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness in individuals age 65 and older in the western world. It results from a hardening of the arteries that nourish the retina affecting the macula, part of the retina that is responsible for clear vision. Deprived of oxygen and essential nutrients needed for the retina to function, the central vision deteriorates. In addition to age, other risk factors for AMD include a family history of AMD, cardiovascular disease, smoking and sunlight exposure. Signs of macular degeneration include loss of central vision (either gradually or suddenly), difficulty reading or performing tasks that require the ability to see detail and/or distorted or wavy vision.
There are two types of AMD. Dry AMD is the most common form of the disease and has the better long-term visual prognosis. Recent studies indicate the role of antioxidant vitamins and nutritional supplements in the prevention of progression of dry AMD in some patients. Wet AMD is associated with the development of new blood vessels that grow beneath the retina leading to bleeding, scarring and severe reduction in central vision. Wet AMD causes the majority of severe visual loss in patients with AMD. Recent developments have allowed for earlier recognition of wet AMD and promising treatments including intraocular injections to help prevent progression of wet AMD.
At Ophthalmology Associates of Glen Cove, we have a Fellowship Trained, Board Certified Retina specialist who comes to our office every week to see our patients. Using our state of the art equipment, he is able to diagnose and treat both types of AMD.