Macular Degeneration

ARMD is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older.  It causes damage to the macula, which is your central and fine detailed vision.

In some patients, AMD advances so slowly that significant vision loss does not occur for a long time.  However, for other patients, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes rapidly.  As AMD progresses, blurry or distorted central vision is the most common symptom.  Over time, the blurred area may grow larger or you may develop grayed out or missing areas in your central vision.

Risk Factors for ARMD

  • Over 60 years old
  • Smoking can double risk of developing ARMD
  • More common in Caucasians
  • Family history of ARMD

There are two main types of ARMD, dry and wet.  Dry (geographic) ARMD does not have any neovascularization, or new blood vessel growth, and is characterized by pigment changes in the macula.  Wet ARMD has neovascularization and can have fluid and/or blood leakage resulting in severely decreased vision.  It is possible to have both dry and wet ARMD simultaneously and either one can appear first.

Treatment Options

  • Annual dilated eye exams for early detection
  • Multi-vitamins, AREDS II vitamins specific for ARMD, possible injections / laser treatment for advanced AMD
  • A healthy diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fish with omega 3 fatty acids can help slow progression

At Chapel Hill Eyecare, typically we refer to NC Retina Associates off Conner Drive for retinal surgery consults.  We typically use Dr. Sachin Mudvari, Dr. Rahul Mandinga, and Dr. Elizabeth Tegins but also have good relationships with all other retinal surgeons in the Chapel Hill area as well.

Learn more about Age Related Macular Degeneration here

*All information courtesy of the National Eye Institute.

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