ABOUT MACULAR DEGENERATION
WHAT IS MACULAR DEGENERATION?
Macular degeneration or AMD is a devastating bilateral eye disorder that has a strong familial base. Females are more commonly affected than males. Smokers are at an increased risk of developing AMD.
The retina consists of numerous layers of cells that need to function perfectly to produce high quality images to the brain. AMD causes degenerative changes to the layers underneath the retina, causing abnormal blood vessels to grow and certain cell layers to die. The new vessels converge and form fibro-vascular membranes underneath the retina. These membranes bleed and cause retinal swelling and scarring.
This in turn causes severe central vision loss that is progressive if left untreated.
Treatment is aimed at slowing down and arresting the growth and activity of these membranes to reduce retinal swelling and bleeding.
Important to note, AMD is not a disorder that is cured with one or two injections. You may need injections on a 4-12 weekly basis for years, as long as the lesions are active. Injections are given into the eye to deliver the medication straight to the problematic area. This maximizes the effect of the treatment and minimizes any systemic effects of these medications. A good eye vitamin supplement is also suggested to slow down progression.
WHY INJECTIONS IN THE EYE?
Intravitreal injections have become indispensable in the treatment of AMD. Medication is delivered straight into the eye, maximizing the local effect and minimizing the systemic effect.
These injections last between 4 and 12 weeks, they may be repeated numerous times to get a stable retina.
IS LASER FOR YOU?
Laser was used to treat AMD in the era before intravitreal injections. Laser can be performed only if the active lesion is located away from the central focal point of the retina, otherwise it can lead to further and permanent visual loss.