Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet macular degeneration is a chronic eye disorder that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in your visual field. It's generally caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the macula, which is a part of the retina responsible for central vision.

Wet macular degeneration is one of two types of age-related macular degeneration. The other type — dry macular degeneration — is more common and less severe. The wet type always begins as the dry type.

  • Visual distortions, such as straight lines seeming bent
  • Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
  • The need for brighter light when reading or doing close-up work
  • Increased difficulty adapting to low light levels, such as when entering a dimly lit restaurant
  • Increased blurriness of printed words

When to see a doctor: These changes may be the first indication of macular degeneration, particularly if you're older than age 60.

  • You notice changes in your central vision
  • Your ability to see colors and fine detail becomes impaired

No one knows the exact cause of wet macular degeneration, but it develops in people who have had dry macular degeneration. Of all people with age-related macular degeneration, about 20% have the wet form.

Factors that may increase your risk of macular degeneration include:

  • Age - This disease is most common in people over 55.
  • Family history and genetics.
  • Smoking.
  • Obesity.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Manage your other medical conditions like cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure,
  • Quit smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
  • Choose a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins that reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration.
  • Include fish in your diet for Omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Nuts, such as walnuts, also contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Vision loss leads to a higher risk of depression and social isolation. With profound loss of vision, people may see visual hallucinations (Charles Bonnet syndrome).

eye injections for reducing the progression of disease.

  • Photodynamic therapy. This procedure is very occasionally used to treat abnormal blood vessels at the center of your macula.
  • Photocoagulation uses a high-energy laser beam to seal abnormal blood vessels under the macula.
  • Low vision rehabilitation.

For people with intermediate or advanced disease, taking a high-dose formulation of antioxidant vitamins and minerals may help reduce the risk of vision loss. Research from the AREDS2 (Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2) shows benefit in a formulation that includes:

  • 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
  • 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E
  • 10 mg of lutein
  • 2 mg of zeaxanthin
  • 80 mg of zinc (as zinc oxide)
  • 2 mg of copper (as cupric oxide)

How is it diagnosed?

  • Examination of Retina for drusen which are yellow deposits that form under the retina.
  • Test for defects in the center of your vision by Amslers grid chart
  • Fluorescein angiography for checking leak in blood vessels of retina
  • Optical coherence tomography. This noninvasive imaging test displays detailed cross sections of the retina. It identifies areas of thinning, thickening, or swelling.
Wet Macular Degeneration

How is it treated?

Treatments help slow disease progression, preserve existing vision and, if started early, recover some lost vision.

Consult with experienced Doctors

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