About 11 million Americans currently have age-related macular degeneration, and it’s the most common cause of irreversible blindness in men and women over 50. It’s important to know that macular degeneration is manageable with help from Anu Patel, MD, the retinal specialist at Retina Institute of Michigan. Call the office in Bingham Farms or send us a message through our website.

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What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an eye disease in which your macula, the middle of the light-sensing retina at the back of your eye, is damaged. The macula is responsible for fine details in your central vision but doesn’t affect your peripheral vision at all.

Macular degeneration can cause spotty or blurry vision, and it’s one of the most common causes of vision loss in men and women after the age of 50. As you age, your risk for macular degeneration rises.

What are the forms of macular degeneration?

There are two main forms, dry and wet.

Dry macular degeneration
Dry macular degeneration is the type that affects most sufferers. It happens when drusen (small protein deposits) clump together on the underside of your retina, which causes gradual macular thinning. Dry macular degeneration causes slow central vision loss over a long period of time, usually years. In some cases, it progresses to the other form, wet macular degeneration.

Wet macular degeneration
Wet macular degeneration, also called exudative macular degeneration, is the more serious type of the disease. It causes new abnormal blood vessels to grow on the underside of your retina. It’s common for these blood vessels to leak because they’re so fragile, and blood or fluids from the leakage can scar your macula, causing sudden vision problems or blindness.

You need monitoring and treatment for both kinds of macular degeneration. Early diagnosis and intervention can optimize your vision and delay disease progression.

How is macular degeneration treated?

Macular degeneration treatment depends on what type of macular degeneration you have and how it’s affecting your vision. For newly diagnosed dry macular degeneration, Dr. Patel monitors you closely but may not recommend treatment right away. There’s not a medical treatment for dry macular degeneration at this time, but some patients who suffer respond well to high-dose combinations of certain nutritional supplements.

For wet macular degeneration, Dr. Patel expertly performs intraocular (inner eye) injections using anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs. These medications can stem bleeding and reduce abnormal blood vessel growth within your retina. Dr. Patel administers intraocular injections on-site. In some cases, Dr. Patel may also perform laser treatment to help control blood vessel leakage in wet macular degeneration. She tailors the treatment for your situation.

Retina Institute of Michigan can help you maximize your sight with macular degeneration and macular disorders, so don’t hesitate to seek help. Use the online booking tool or call the office today.