About Dry Macular Degeneration In Burnsville, Minnesota
Two Forms Of Macular Degeneration
Dry macular degeneration is the most common form of MD, covering nearly 90% of all patients diagnosed with macular degeneration. Fortunately, dry macular degeneration can be monitored and managed without much permanent vision loss.
Neovascular or wet macular degeneration, which is only around 10% of individuals diagnosed with macular degeneration, accounts for nearly 90% of all cases of severe vision loss! Wet macular degeneration is a far worse and more vision threatening eye disease. The vision loss caused by wet age-related macular degeneration is due to abnormal blood vessels under the retina growing toward the macula. When these blood vessels start to leak, this leads to noticeable vision loss.
Wet macular degeneration is generally the stage after dry macular degeneration. If your eye doctor recently diagnosed you with macular degeneration, you likely have dry macular degeneration. Another way to know what type of macular degeneration you have depends on which eyes were diagnosed with macular degeneration.
Dry macular degeneration often affects both eyes, while wet macular degeneration generally starts with only one eye. Finally, wet macular degeneration carries noticeable side effects and/or vision loss, while dry macular degeneration may have little to none.
Symptoms Of Dry Macular Degeneration
Dry macular degeneration symptoms are rarely noticeable and will painlessly develop over time.
Some Symptoms That Can Develop In Advanced Dry Macular Degeneration Include:
- Visual distortions. (Ex: Patients use amsler grids to see if straight lines appear bent or curved.)
- Loss of central vision in one or both eyes.
- Inability to recognize faces
- Colors are less intense or bright
- Printed words are blurry & hard to read
- Dependence on bright light when reading or doing closeup work
- Poor dark adaptation (Transitioning from a brightly lit room to low light levels takes a long time & causes eye strain)
While dry macular degeneration can lead to visual distortions, patients automatically compensate poor vision in one eye with their good eye. This leads to patients to ignore their troubled vision and take preventative action against these early stages of vision loss.
Treatment For Dry Macular Degeneration
Can Dry Macular Degeneration Be Treated?
To keep things brief, dry macular degeneration refers to the slow atrophy of light-sensitive cells in the eye, such as the rod and cone photoreceptors. Treating dry macular degeneration would have to restore any dead cells in the eye. Although stem cell research is trying to regenerate dead photoreceptors and actively treat this disease, there is no cure or treatment besides taking steps to prevent the disease from progressing.
Diagnostic technology, such as the AdaptDX, has helped us detect the earliest signs of dry macular degeneration. By monitoring the health of our patient’s eyes, we’ve guided numerous patients who are at risk of dry macular degeneration to maintain their eye health successfully. While there are FDA-approved drugs to treat wet macular degeneration, they can only maintain your eye health. So, if you’ve experience vision loss due to wet or dry macular degeneration, it’s irrecoverable.
What Is The Best Vitamin For Dry Macular Degeneration?
Vitamins, especially AREDS 2 vitamins, are commonly prescribed to prevent the progression or development of dry macular degeneration. Here are some of the vitamins commonly used in AREDS 2:
- Vitamin C (500 mg)
- Vitamin E (400 IU)
- Lutein (10 mg)
- Zeaxanthin (2 mg)
- Zinc (80 mg)
- Copper (2 mg)