Iowa AMD Specialists | Wolfe Eye Clinic

February 22, 2022

Get the Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration

February is here, and that means it is Age- Related Macular Degeneration Month (AMD). According to Genentech, about 15 million Americans have AMD and 1.7 million Americans have an advanced form of the disease. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years of age and older. Your eyes allow you to be in control of your life and take in every moment but if left untreated, AMD can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness. Wolfe Eye Clinic retina surgeons are proud to be part of recent retina disease clinical trials and help with the advancements in saving and preserving the vision of those that suffer from retinal disease conditions.

The Impact of Macular Degeneration on Your Vision

Macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes central vision loss and gradually damages the retinal tissue in the back of the eye causing deterioration to the blood vessels.  The abnormal blood vessels grow and leak underneath of the macula, the part of your eye that gives you sharp, detailed vision. When this occurs, it can impact your independence on daily activities like reading or driving. That’s why it is so important to see your local eye doctor regularly to monitor your eye health and determine if treatment options are needed.

There are two forms of macular degeneration that commonly affect vision potential: wet AMD and dry AMD. Macular degeneration always starts out as a dry form that can eventually turn wet. Eight out of ten people have the dry form of AMD according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Your eye doctor can determine what stage of AMD you have and refer you to a Wolfe Eye Clinic retina specialist if further treatment is needed. We work closely with eye doctors around the state to manage the best care for our patients.

Differences Between Dry & Wet AMD

If you are diagnosed with age- related macular degeneration, you were probably made aware of the disease when it was in the dry phase. Dry AMD is also known as non-neovascular AMD, it occurs when the macula in the back of our eyes starts to age. Slowly the cells that receive light through our eyes will begin to degenerate or break down and cause blurred vision, distortion, or even darkened images. Wet AMD can also be called neovascular AMD. This means that blood vessels have began to leak fluid and damage the macula causing scarring and permanent vision loss.

Help Your Vision Fight Back

If you suffer from AMD, there are treatment options and daily habits to maintain the vision you have. Exercising, a healthy diet, not smoking, or taking eye vitamins such as AREDS are just a few examples of ways to help preserve your vision from further damage. Wolfe Eye Clinic retina specialists are actively investigating new potential treatments and use several different medications to treat AMD. Intravitreal injections of medicine are delivered into the eye and are commonly used for treating wet AMD. This medication helps block harmful signals of the blood vessel leakage into the macula and can be used monthly if needed. The retina specialists here at Wolfe Eye Clinic are trained in injection delivery along with many other treatment forms for both types of AMD. Wolfe Eye Clinic has a long history of participating in national studies over the years in clinical trials for AMD.

Even though there is not a cure for either form of macular degeneration, Wolfe Eye Clinic retinal surgeons continue in the involvement of the recent treatment advances through clinical trials. If you have macular degeneration or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (833) 474-5850 or request information here.  

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