Macula Degeneration (AMD)

The aging macula can undergo degeneration changes that lead to significant permanent visual loss.  The dry form is characterized by thinning of the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) layer and is treated with vitamins.  The AREADS study showed vitamins A, C, E, and zinc to be helpful in stopping or slowing the worsening of AMD.  Since that study lutein and zeaxanthin have been added to the list.  Smoking was also established as the most significant risk factor in making vision worse and should be stopped.

The wet form of amd usually starts as the dry form.  Then  abnormal blood vessel (neovascular) develop and these blood vessels begin leaking and bleeding, vison becomes distorted causing straight lines to appear crooked or bent.  For years there was no satisfactory treatment but now medication injected directly into the center of the eye can often stop the advancement of wet amd and in some cases vision loss can be recovered.