What is Macular Degeneration?
Age Related Macular Degeneration, also referred to as ARMD or simply macular degeneration, occurs when the cells in the macula break down causing vision loss in the central part of the field of vision. Most often ARMD is a slow, progressive and painless disease affecting both eyes. There are two main types of ARMD: Dry (atrophic) ARMD and Wet (exudative) ARMD.
Dry ARMD accounts for 90% of all patients diagnosed with this disease. Dry ARMD occurs when small deposits, called drusen, begin to accumulate under the macula. These deposits gradually break down the light sensing cells in the macula, causing distorted vision. It is important to monitor dry ARMD closely as it can lead to the more aggressive form called Wet ARMD.
Wet ARMD occurs when tiny, new, abnormal blood vessels begin to grow behind the retina toward the macula. These blood vessels often leak blood and fluid that can damage the macula, causing rapid and severe vision loss. Wet ARMD always occurs in patients who already have dry ARMD.
Can Macular Degeneration Be Cured?
Dry ARMD cannot be cured, but should be monitored by Dr. Guruprasad Pattar regularly, so that the ARMD does not develop into advanced Wet ARMD. Between visits, patients can use the Amsler grid to check on the progression of the disease. The lines on the Amsler grid are square, when your vision begins to make the lines appear curved, please call us to schedule another appointment.
While there is no cure for wet ARMD, there are several treatment options for Wet ARMD, which may slow down the progression of the disease, thereby slowing down the vision loss.
The most common treatment for wet ARMD is the injection of a medicine called Avastin/Lucentis directly into the eye. This helps block the growth and development of the abnormal subretinal blood vessels. This is a procedure that is performed in the office by Dr. Guruprasad Pattar and is associated with very little discomfort.
How Do I Know Which ARMD Treatment Is Right For Me?
After a thorough dilated eye examination by Dr. Guruprasad Pattar, he will discuss treatment options with you, and recommend a course of treatment. Though Dr. Pattar will offer a recommendation, the choice to attempt to save your vision is up to you.