Prognosis, Prevention & Treatment
If you are suffering from macular degeneration, Pacific Eye Clinic provides examinations, treatment and ongoing preventative care to give you the best vision possible. With our eye surgery clinic in the Gold Coast, we are well-equipped to handle all aspects of care.
Symptoms of macular degeneration are caused by age-related changes in the central retina or macula. Currently, it is the most common cause of legal blindness in Australia.
Over time, as you age, deposits build up, leading to a thinning of the central retina (‘dry’ macular degeneration) and a slow deterioration of your central vision. A second, less common complication of age-related macular degeneration involves the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the macula. This can lead to fluid or blood under the retina (‘wet’ macular degeneration) and a rapid decrease in central vision. We also recommend ceasing smoking as another prevention tactic
At Pacific Eye Care, we believe prevention is better than the cure
That’s why we recommend vitamins, antioxidants and zinc supplements for patients dealing with macular degeneration. This has shown, in some cases, to slow the progression of the disease.
Intravitreal injections of vascular growth factor inhibitors of EYELEA or LUCENTIS are used for ‘wet’ AMD. They are very successful and 75% of eyes do not lose vision, but repeated injections over 2 or more years are needed.
Laser treatment is only used occasionally for the ‘wet’ form of age-related macular degeneration and the team at Pacific Eye Care can provide it.
Optimal lighting, glasses and sometimes magnifying devices are helpful in this condition. Blind registration and pensions with Centrelink and taxi subsidies are available only if legally blind in both eyes.
Supplements for Prevention
Take Luteinvision (Blackmore’s) or similar Lutein and Zeaxanthin supplements and high doses of vitamins and zinc Macuvision, or a combination tablet: Ultravision (Macuvision and Lutein).
Ultravision: available at most optometrist and some chemist offices.
Macutec: available in Australia.
The two types of macular degeneration include dry form and wet form. People with dry macular degeneration may develop yellow deposits at the macula which can lead to distorted vision as they get bigger. Light sensitive cells in your macula will eventually die and central vision will be lost.
Wet form macular degeneration occurs when blood vessels underneath your macula grow and fluid leaks into your retina. Distorted vision, scarring, and permanent loss of vision are common results.
Anyone can get macular degeneration, but it’s most common in people over the age of 60 and those who have a genetic disposition for the disease.
Signs of macular degeneration include difficulty adapting to low lights, blurriness, central vision reduction, distortion and retinal scarring.