Wet Macular Degeneration
Your IALVS eye doctor can help with vision loss from wet AMD
Wet macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when unhealthy blood vessels leak blood or fluid into the macula of your eye. The macular is located in the retina and is responsible for your central vision. Therefore, wet macular degeneration causes either blurry central vision or a blind spot in your visual field. There are two types of AMD – wet and dry – and the wet type always begins as the less serious dry type of the disease.
If you have been diagnosed with wet AMD, an IALVS eye doctor will evaluate your vision to determine how much of your central field has suffered damage. Using the results of this comprehensive eye exam, we will recommend the most helpful low vision aids and rehabilitation strategies to maximize your remaining sight – thereby enhancing your independence and quality of life.
How can customized low vision assistance help you?
Your IALVS eye doctor is knowledgeable about all the latest technologies for low vision, including computerized and optic aids. We encourage all of our patients to share details about their lifestyle and daily routines, including favorite activities and hobbies, so we can recommend the most suitable low vision devices.
Low vision aids that may help with vision loss from wet macular degeneration include:
- Specialized prescription glasses with prisms, a higher magnification for reading, and/or tints to increase visual contrast
- Bioptic telescope glasses to improve distance vision
- Magnifiers, especially with built-in lights, can be helpful; they are available in mounted and hand-held versions
- CCTV magnifiers and other electronic devices to enlarge text
- Computerized software that converts typed text to voice and responds to voice commands
- Safety lighting in the home; to minimize falls
What are the symptoms of wet AMD?
In general, the symptoms of wet macular degeneration appear suddenly and deteriorate quickly. Because macular degeneration doesn’t affect peripheral vision, complete blindness is rare. Common symptoms include:
- Seeing distorted images, with straight lines that appear bent
- Reduced central vision (in one or both eyes)
- A blind spot (or well-defined blurry spot) in your field of vision
- Haziness that affects your overall vision and a dimming of colors
What are the causes of wet AMD?
Wet macular degeneration develops in people who already have dry macular degeneration. Vision loss is either caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels in your eye, or due to the accumulation of fluid in the back of your eye. Approximately 10% of people with AMD have the wet type of chronic disease.
How is wet AMD diagnosed?
Your eye doctor will conduct a thorough eye exam, dilating your pupils in order to get a clear view of the tissues at the back of your eyes. In addition to inspecting for drusen, which are deposits under the retina that usually indicate macular degeneration, your eye doctor will also test for defects in your central vision. OCT scans (optical coherence tomography) and other detailed tests may also be done to obtain a diagnosis of AMD.
What is the treatment for AMD?
While there is no cure for wet macular degeneration, there are treatments - such as injections - that can help slow its progression, preserve your existing vision, and sometimes recover some of your lost vision. Taking a high-dose of antioxidant vitamins and minerals may also help to lower your risk of vision loss. Your eye doctor will discuss all of the available treatments with you and determine if they are recommended for your condition.
How can an IALVS eye doctor help with AMD?
Vision loss from macular degeneration can compromise your ability to perform tasks such as driving, recognizing faces, and reading. Your IALVS eye doctor specializes in helping you find ways to adapt to your changing eyesight – so you can still enjoy life and all the things you love to do.
Wet macular degeneration can be progressive, which means that your vision may keep changing. We will perform regular eye exams to assess your vision condition carefully, making sure that your eyeglasses prescription is as effective as possible for your lifestyle requirements. Similarly, we will constantly check that you are using the best advanced low vision aids to maximize your remaining eyesight. Having AMD can be challenging, and our supportive low vision eye doctors are here to help.