Macular Degeneration – Monitoring, Prevention & Treatment
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a potentially devastating disease of the retina which can cause blindness. Victims lose their central vision.
More than 30% of people over the age of 70 have some signs of AMD and many people start showing early signs in their 50’s.
Macular degeneration has two broad forms, dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration is much more common, and far less likely to cause severe vision loss than the wet variety. Dry macular degeneration becomes wet in a small percentage of patients.
The causes of macular degeneration can be broken into two categories: things we can do something about, and things we cannot. We will help each patient do the most they can to prevent and delay the advance of macular degeneration.
AMD Risk Factors
At Oak Bay Optometry we have established protocols for detecting, treating, and monitoring macular degeneration. For those patients with early AMD, we will work to slow the process and save as much central vision as possible. Peer-reviewed research has shown that dietary supplements can reduce the risk of vision loss due to AMD. Our care includes a personalized plan based on the most up-to-date research on AMD prevention.
If signs of wet macular degeneration are found during your eye examination, you will be referred to a retinal specialist. The specialist might choose to treat the wet AMD or have our office monitor the condition.
If signs of dry macular degeneration are found during your eye examination, your Optometrist may suggest you consider the Macular Degeneration Prevention Program.
A baseline image of your maculas will be obtained using a retinal camera and an Ocular Coherence Tomographer (OCT).
The retinal camera provides sharp digital images of the surface of the macula. The OCT provides more information about the macula by detailing all of the separate layers of the central retina. This advanced technology allows us to detect more subtle changes in the health of the macula, often before any changes in vision are noticed. This means that disease progression can be caught, and dealt with sooner.
Depending on our findings, follow-up appointments including retinal photos and/or OCT scans will be scheduled at 3, 6, or 12 month intervals to reassess the macula and give further counselling regarding macular health. We want to do everything that we can to protect your central vision.