What Treatments are Available for Macular Degeneration?

by Oct 24, 2022

Macular degeneration is a chronic eye condition that leads to loss of central vision. While there is no cure for macular degeneration, there are treatments available for the symptoms and options to prevent the progression of the condition and worsening of loss of vision. These treatments range from vitamin supplementation to intraocular injections of medications. The type of treatment needed will ne determined by the stage and severity of the macular degeneration.


Who Gets Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration usually affects older adults, typically those over the age of 65. In addition to primarily affecting the elderly, macular degeneration also predominately affects women and Caucasian individuals.

Family history of macular degeneration is also a risk factor for developing macular degeneration as there has been evidence to suggest that macular degeneration will run in families and have some amount of genetic factor.

A major risk factor for developing macular degeneration is smoking or using tobacco products. If there are other risk factors present, smoking will add an additional risk for developing macular degeneration and complications from macular degeneration.


What are Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration typically presents with symptoms of decreased or blurry vision, trouble reading, or difficulty recognizing faces.

These symptoms all stem from the loss of vision in the center portion of the visual field.

Patients with macular degeneration will not have problems with their side or peripheral vision, instead all of the symptoms will be confined to the center of the vision.


Stages of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration can be staged as either dry or wet, and then further subdivided into early and late stages.

The least severe stage is early dry macular degeneration. In this stage, the symptoms are very mild and most of the changes are only noticeable in an eye examination.

The next most severe stage is late dry macular degeneration. Here, there are likely to be symptoms which are noticeable and may begin to affect daily life.

Early wet macular degeneration is more severe than any of the dry stages of macular degeneration. With wet macular degeneration, vision loss is likely to develop and the symptoms will begin to cause problems daily.

The most severe form of macular degeneration is late wet macular degeneration. This stage may result in vision loss that leads to legal blindness if not treated properly.


Treatment for Early Macular Degeneration

In the early stages of macular degeneration, there is no medication needed for treatment. The goal at this stage is to prevent progression to more severe stages later on.

Smoking cessation is paramount at this stage. Additionally, AREDS vitamins may be recommended to help maintain the health of the eyes.


Treatment for Late-Stage Macular Degeneration

As vision begins to become more and more affected in the later stages of macular degeneration, medication may be used as treatment.

If there is bleeding due to the macular degeneration, intraocular injections of anti-VEGF medications can help prevent new, leaky blood vessels from growing in the back of the eyes.


Determining the Treatment for Macular Degeneration

When considering the best treatment for macular degeneration, the amount of vision loss and the damage to the eyes are both considered.

Since there is not a cure for this condition, it must be managed for the entirety of the patient’s life and the goal is to maintain as much function vision as possible.


Our eye doctors at Wilmington Family Eye Care in Wilmington, DE excel in prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 302-299-1286 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about the treatment of macular degeneration. Our eye doctors, Drs. Daniel Baruffi, Amy Quan, Patricia Jones, and Joseph Goldberg provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Wilmington, Delaware and its surrounding areas.

Request Appointment

You can schedule your next appointment with us online!

Connect With Us

Let’s continue the conversation over on your social network of choice.