Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that slowly destroys sharp, central vision. This makes it difficult to see fine details and read.
The disease is most common in people over the age of 60 which is why it is often called age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The retina is at the back of the eye. It changes light and images that enter the eye into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. A part of the retina called the macula makes vision sharper and more detailed.
AMD is caused by damage to the blood vessels that supply the macula.
There are 2 types of AMD:
Dry AMD occurs when the blood vessels under the macula become thin and brittle. Almost all people with AMD start with the dry form.
Wet AMD occurs in about 10 percent of people with macular degeneration. This is a more rapid process in which abnormal blood vessels grow and then leak or bleed under the macula. This type of AMD causes most of the vision loss associated with the condition.
Macular Degeneration Treatment
Treatments for AMD can slow vision loss, but not restore vision.
Macular degeneration treatments at Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center often incorporate nutrition and supplements with more conventional medical and surgical treatments. With newer approaches like these, our retina specialists frequently rehabilitate AMD patients who have had unsuccessful treatment elsewhere.
Many patients have been able to maintain or even improve their eyesight using our specialty eye care technology and therapeutic agents.
The Eye Center is part of multiple nationwide studies, which means we use some of the newest specialty eye care treatments available for controlling macular degeneration. In one study, we’re learning how high levels of antioxidants and zinc can slow the disease. In another, we’re learning the effect of protein injections.