Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment Brookfield
At the Holtebeck Eye Center in Brookfield, Dr. Holtebeck offers treatment for age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss in individuals who are 50 and older. It is crucial to seek treatment for this incredibly common disease to avoid permanent damage to your central vision.
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, refers to problems in the retina of the eye. AMD occurs when the retina, also called the “macula,” is damaged, which can lead to the loss of your central vision. With this type of degeneration, you may lose the ability to see precise details that are both close and far. However, peripheral vision remains intact.
Two Types of Age-related Macular Degeneration
There are two main types of age-related macular degeneration that we treat at the Holtebeck Eye Center: Dry AMD and wet AMD.
Dry age-related macular degeneration is the most common at about 80% of all AMD cases. Dry AMD refers to when parts of the retina begin to thin due to aging, leading to the growth of tiny protein clumps called drusen. These protein clumps lead to the slow loss of central vision.
The treatment for dry AMD is a precise formulation of vitamins aimed at strengthening cells in the retina, reducing toxins, and generally improving eye health.
While wet AMD is not as common as dry AMD, it is a much more serious disease that involves the growth of new, abnormal blood vessels under the retina. The new-growth blood vessels can leak blood and other harmful fluids that cause retina scarring. Because of the active nature of this disease, wet AMD leads to a much faster vision deterioration when compared to dry AMD.
Who is at Risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
While anyone over age 50 may rightfully be concerned about developing either type of age-related macular degeneration, some individuals are even more likely at risk.
An individual is more disposed to developing AMD if they eat a lot of saturated fats, such as meat, butter, and cheese. Additionally, an individual will be at greater risk of developing AMD if they are overweight or smoke cigarettes. And, as with many diseases, a family history of the condition as well as high blood pressure (or hypertension) can also contribute to its development.
Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration
While there is no direct treatment for dry AMD, we will often recommend specific combinations of nutritional supplements to potentially address the build-up of drusen. AREDS and AREDS 2 (Age-Related Eye Disease Studies) found that taking specific combinations of vitamins and supplements may slow dry AMD development. These vitamins and minerals include vitamin C (500 mg), vitamin E (400 IU), lutein (10 mg), zeaxanthin (2 mg), zinc (80 mg), and copper (2 mg). During your eye exam, Dr. Holtebeck can help you understand what vitamins and minerals are recommended for your dry AMD and which ones will most benefit your eyes. It is important to note that not all forms of dry AMD can be positively addressed by AREDS supplements.
For wet AMD treatment, Dr. Holtebeck will often prescribe anti-VEGF medications that support reduction of the number of abnormal blood vessels in the retina and slow any leaking fluids. We administer this medication to the eye through a very slim needle. Additionally, laser surgery may be suggested for the treatment of some types of wet AMD. During this process, the doctor uses a laser to eradicate many of the abnormal blood vessels, thereby slowing their harmful leaking.
Schedule an Evaluation Today
The best way to address AMD is through prevention and early diagnosis. With that in mind, it is crucial to attend regular eye exams to check for eye and vision changes. Contact the Holtebeck Eye Center today to schedule an eye exam and discuss options for addressing age-related macular degeneration. Dr. Holtebeck is committed to protecting your sight!