Wiles Eye Center is home to highly-skilled eye care professionals with extensive experience providing quality eye health care. Using advanced techniques and state-of-the-art technologies, the dedicated team provides macular degeneration treatments for patients suffering from this debilitating disease. The staff at Wiles Eye Center is on the cutting edge of treatment options to help optimize the visual health of our macular degeneration patients.
About Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in people over 65 in the United States. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive disease that causes a loss of central vision. The retina is responsible for capturing light which enters the eye. AMD occurs in the macula, a unique area of the retina that lets us see fine details and color. There are two forms of AMD which damage the macula in different ways.
Download the AMD Information Sheet
Dry macular degeneration occurs when changes in the retinal tissue lead to drusen deposits in the macula, an indicator of unhealthy retina support cells. Dry macular degeneration occurs over time as the center of the retina – the macula – deteriorates and causes difficulty for patients to perform detailed vision tasks, such as reading and writing. Recommended treatment for dry macular degeneration includes UV protection while outside, no smoking, eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, use of an Amsler grid to monitor vision, MacuTab vitamin supplements and regular follow-ups every six months.
Conversely, wet macular degeneration develops after the growth of abnormal blood vessels in or under the macula. As these blood vessels grow through a process known as neovascularization, they begin to leak fluid and damage the macula tissues. This can lead to a more rapid loss of central vision and prompt treatment is important. About 10 percent of patients with dry macular degeneration will eventually develop wet macular degeneration. Additional treatment options for wet macular degeneration patients may include Lucentis injections and laser photocoagulation.
Dry AMD versus Wet AMD
Age-related Macular Degeneration is a progressive disease that causes a loss of central vision. The retina is responsible for capturing light which enters the eye. AMD occurs in the macula, a unique area of the retina that lets us see fine details and color. There are two forms of AMD, which damage the macula in different ways:
– changes in retinal tissue cause vision to slowly decline and the presence of deposits in the macula are common. These deposits are called drusen and are an indicator of unhealthy retina support cells.
– the growth of abnormal blood vessels in or under the macula which leak blood and fluid. This can lead to a more rapid loss of central vision and prompt treatment is important. About 10% of patients with Dry AMD will eventually develop Wet AMD.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 60.
This condition affects both distance and close vision and can make some activities like threading a needle or reading very difficult or impossible. Although the exact causes of AMD are not fully understood, data suggests that aging effects result in reduced levels of antioxidants and carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin) in the retina which reduce your eyes natural protection against ocular damage from environmental light/sunlight.
Studies show that retina levels of sight saving antioxidants and carotenoids are depleted by 30-40% in macular degeneration. Furthermore, proper nutritional supplementation may be able to raise the levels back to normal.
Macular Degeneration Treatment at Wiles Eye Center
Once macular degeneration has been identified through retina examinations, the skilled eye care professionals at Wiles Eye Center will then order several advanced tests to identify the type and extent of the disease to provide customized care. While there is no treatment to fully cure macular degeneration, there are several options available to slow the disease.
The eye care professionals may recommend a combination of high quality vitamins, such as MacuTab, to slow or reverse dry macular degeneration, such as Vitamin A, C, E and lutein. These natural nutrients have been proven to promote eye health and are available at affordable prices.
For St. Joseph and Kansas City macular degeneration patients suffering from the wet form of the disease, Wiles Eye Center offers revolutionary laser treatments and medications, such as Lucentis and Avastin, to help slow neovascularization and may reverse vision loss in some patients.
For more information about macular degeneration treatment at Wiles Eye Center, please request an appointment to meet with one of our doctors.
In addition to being renowned as talented macular degeneration treatment specialists, the eye surgeons of Wiles Eye Center offer advanced laser eye surgery and cataract treatments. Dr. Stephen Wiles is one of the nation’s leading cataract surgeons. To meet with one of our doctors about your eye care needs, please contact us.