ABOUT THE DISEASE
Macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease that causes vision loss in the center of field of vision.
There are two types of age-related macular degeneration: Dry macular degeneration and Wet macular degeneration.
Wet macular degeneration is generally caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the region of the macula. Early detection and treatment of wet macular degeneration may help reduce vision loss and, in some instances, improve vision. It is more severe than the dry type and progresses more rapidly. The dry macular degeneration, on the other hand, is more common and less severe. The wet type always begins as the dry type.
Symptoms may include:
- • Visual distortions, such as straight lines appearing wavy or crooked, a doorway or street sign looking lopsided, or objects appearing smaller or farther away than they really are.
- • Decreased central vision
- • Decreased intensity or brightness of colors
- • Well-defined blurry spot or blind spot
- • Abrupt onset
- • Rapid worsening
- • Hallucinations of geometric shapes, animals or people, in cases of advanced macular degeneration
Old age is the major factor, other than this it is not clear what causes macular degeneration. Doctors can not predict who will develop wet macular degeneration. However, of all people with age-related macular degeneration, about 10 percent have the wet form.
Wet macular degeneration can develop in different ways:
• caused by abnormal blood vessel growth
• caused by fluid buildup in the back of the eye
- Clinical evaluation
- A test for defects in central vision
- A fluorescein angiogram
- An optical coherence tomography
- Retinal imaging
- Fundus photography
- Indocyanine green (ICG) angiography
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
Macular degeneration can not be cured. If diagnosed early, treatment may help slow progress of wet macular degeneration and reduce the amount of vision lost.
Medications to stop growth of abnormal blood vessels.
Medications may help stop growth of new blood vessels by blocking the effects of growth signals the body sends to generate new blood vessels. These drugs are considered the first-line treatment for all stages of wet macular degeneration.
Medications used to treat wet macular degeneration include:
• Bevacizumab (Avastin)
• Ranibizumab (Lucentis)
• Pegaptanib (Macugen)
• Aflibercept (Eylea)
• Photodynamic therapy
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