Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration? Macular degeneration, often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a chronic eye disease that affects the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. This condition gradually deteriorates the macula, leading to vision impairment and, in severe cases, legal blindness.


Causes of Macular Degeneration: While the exact cause of macular degeneration is not fully understood, several factors contribute to its development, including:

  • Age: AMD primarily affects individuals over the age of 50.
  • Genetics: Family history of macular degeneration increases the risk of developing the condition.
  • Smoking: Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for AMD.
  • UV Exposure: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light may increase the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: Conditions such as hypertension and high cholesterol may contribute to AMD.

Types of Macular Degeneration: There are two main types of macular degeneration:

  1. Dry Macular Degeneration (Non-neovascular): Characterized by the presence of drusen (yellow deposits) in the macula, dry AMD progresses slowly and accounts for the majority of AMD cases.
  2. Wet Macular Degeneration (Neovascular): In wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the retina, leaking fluid and blood, which can cause rapid and severe vision loss if left untreated.

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration: Early stages of macular degeneration may present with subtle symptoms or no symptoms at all. As the condition progresses, patients may experience:

  • Blurred or distorted central vision
  • Difficulty reading or recognizing faces
  • Decreased color perception
  • Visual distortions, such as straight lines appearing wavy or crooked

Diagnosis and Treatment: Early detection and intervention are crucial for managing macular degeneration and preserving vision. At Retina Consultants of Delmarva, our skilled retina specialists utilize advanced diagnostic technologies to diagnose and monitor AMD, including optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fluorescein angiography.

Treatment options for macular degeneration may include:

  • Anti-VEGF Therapy: Intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) medications help reduce abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage in wet AMD.
  • Photodynamic Therapy (PDT): PDT involves the use of a light-activated medication to selectively target and treat abnormal blood vessels in wet AMD.
  • Nutritional Supplements: Certain vitamins and minerals, such as antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, may help slow the progression of dry AMD when taken as supplements.

At Retina Consultants of Delmarva, our team of retina specialists is dedicated to providing compassionate care and innovative treatments for patients affected by macular degeneration. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of AMD or have concerns about your eye health, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our experienced specialists. Together, we can work towards preserving your vision and enhancing your quality of life.