Dr. Holekamp, Director of Retina Services at Pepose Vision Institute says macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people 60 years and older.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) never makes you totally blind, but it can leave you legally blind. Even in advanced cases, you can still function somewhat normally, but you can no longer read or drive. It does not affect peripheral vision.
AMD affects the center of the retina, the macula. There are two forms of AMD: dry and wet. Dry is considered the ‘better’ form of the disease. Its progression is slow, and people with it can have good vision for many years. High doses of certain vitamins can provide benefit —when the disease is moderate to advanced. However, a lot of older people take these vitamins needlessly. There is no cure.
Dry macular degeneration can abruptly convert into wet macular degeneration without warning, and this can lead to legal blindness in a few days or weeks. Fortunately, we have treatment, but it’s injections in the eye. Injections are administered every month for three months and then as needed. Most people need seven injections a year. Wet AMD is manageable if caught early. Although AMD is a chronic disease, we are managing it better than ever before.