Macular Degeneration Awareness

What is Macular Degeneration?

February is macular degeneration awareness month.  This is when there is deterioration of the small, central portion of your retina called the macula.  You may develop deposits called drusen in your macula and sometimes bleeding. This can cause loss of your central vision. It is one of the leading causes of blindness and is more common with age.  Smoking is also a risk factor.

There are two main categories of macular degeneration, dry and wet.  Approximately 80% of cases are the dry form.  Typically the dry form is less likely to result in visual loss, although the advanced stages can cause central visual loss.  Dry macular degeneration can progress to wet macular degeneration.  This is typically more likely to cause visual loss.  Blood vessels can leak and cause scar tissue to form.

Diagnosismacular degeneration | Alaina Kronenberg MD

Macular degeneration is diagnosed with a comprehensive eye examination and usually a picture of the back of the eye called and OCT.  This images the central vision and helps determine if your macular degeneration is the dry or the wet form.  Sometimes additional testing will be required like a fluorescein angiogram.

Treatment

The treatment for macular degeneration depends on whether you have been diagnosed with the dry form or the wet form.  For the dry form Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I will recommend vitamins twice a day based on the age related eye disease study (AREDS2).  We will also give you an amsler grid to monitor your vision at home.

If you have the wet form typically you will need  injections to treat this.  The injections can help maintain your current vision and sometimes will improve your vision.  The injections are typically given frequently at the beginning and then the intervals can be extended depending on the examination findings.

Alaina Kronenberg MD
Eye Surgery Institute
15212 Michigan Ave
Dearborn, MI 48126


Nutrition and Eye Health

Eye Health

Carrots are the food you probably think are best for eye health.  In fact, there are many foods that are healthy for your eyes.  Foods that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and the omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are important for both the health of your eyes and your body in general.  It is never to early to maintain a healthy diet!

Eating a diet with these vitamins and nutrients may decrease your chances of developing or worsened age related macular degeneration, cataracts and dry eyes.  It is still important to maintain regular comprehensive eye examinations to check the health of your eyes even if you maintain a healthy diet.  Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can evaluate your eye health and check you for all eye diseases.

AREDS 2Nutrition and eye health| Alaina Kronenberg MD| Eye Surgery Institute

AREDS stands for the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. This was a large study that showed specific vitamins can delay or reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The AREDS formulation includes:

  • 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
  • 400 international units of vitamin E
  • 15 mg beta-carotene
  • 80 mg zinc as zinc oxide
  • 2 mg copper as cupric oxide

Taking these vitamins can reduce your risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25% over 5 years.  These vitamins are typically recommended in patients with either intermediate or advanced AMD.  You can continue your multivitamin if you are taking AREDS vitamins.

These vitamins were not shown to prevent you from developing early AMD.  It is not possible to get enough of the vitamins in your diet if you have intermediate or advanced AMD.  If you are taking AREDS vitamins, it is important that you make your primary care doctor aware to ensure it is not interacting with other medications you are on.

Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Cataract Specialist
Comprehensive Ophthalmologist
Dearborn, Michigan 48126