Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration (MD) is a common eye disease related to aging. This disease slowly destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for daily tasks such as reading and driving. In some people, MD advances so slowly that it has little effect on their vision as they age. In others, the disease progresses quickly and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes. Macular degeneration does not cause total blindness, but can cause a blind spot in the center of vision, which makes it hard to see detail and read.

MD happens in two forms. Dry and wet MD. There is no treatment for dry macular degeneration. Certain vitamins, zinc and antioxidants may slow down the progression of the disease. Wet macular degeneration may also be slowed down if the source of leakage is found and treated with a laser. This does not cure the disease itself. Recently, patients have been treated with injections of new drugs. These drugs seem to slow down the progression of MD by slowing down the formation of abnormal blood vessels that might leak. These injections are given into the eyeball and should be done only by a trained retinal specialist. The injections do not cause pain.