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What is Macular Degeneration?
In age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the central part of the retina—called the macula—deteriorates, resulting in a loss of sharp central vision. It is the most common cause of decreased vision in people over 50.
There are two types of ARMD: dry and wet. In the dry form, yellowish deposits (called drusen) form on the retina. As drusen grows, it can affect vision. In the more advanced wet form of ARMD, abnormal new blood vessels grow under the retina. These can leak, causing disturbed vision or other complications. The dry form of the disease almost always occurs before the wet form.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
In early stages of the disease, patients might not experience symptoms. But later, symptoms can include:
- Blurred or decreased central vision
- Distorted near vision
- A blind spot
- Visual distortions (such as straight lines appearing wavy)
UR Medicine's Treatments for Macular Degeneration
UR Medicine's Flaum Eye Institute diagnoses and manages retina diseases in a new, state-of-the-art facility.
An ophthalmologist or optometrist often diagnoses the condition through a dilated eye exam. Depending on how severe the condition is and how far it has progressed, you might be referred to a retina specialist for more detailed tests.
A growing number of therapies are available to improve vision or slow the progression of vision loss from age-related macular degeneration, including:
- Vitamin supplements
- Administration of special medicines, called anti-VEGF, to stop retinal bleeding
- Laser surgery to seal leaking blood vessels
- Low-vision rehabilitation
What Sets Us Apart?
We're the region’s most comprehensive treatment center for ARMD. We’re also a nationally recognized research center for understanding the causes of the disease and developing cures. This includes access to the latest pharmaceutical treatments and vision restoration techniques, including gene therapy.
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