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Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?

The macula is the central part of the retina at the back of the eye. It is responsible for your detailed central vision.

There are 2 types of macular degeneration, “wet” or “dry”

With the wet type, abnormal blood vessels grow at the macular. These vessels are very leaky and haemorrhage easily. This can cause rapid vision loss and sometime blindness.

With the dry type there is just a slow break down of the macular structure and a more gradual loss of vision over time.

How is Macular Degeneration detected?

We detect macular degeneration with our OCT scanner and digital retina camera. We can often find changes before you are aware of them yourself.

How is Macular Degeneration treated?

Dry macular degeneration is managed with the use of antioxidant vitamins. The preparations that follow the AREDS2 formula (Age Related Eye Disease Study 2) slow progression by approximately 20 to 25%. It is argued that the macular burns 7x more oxygen than any other tissue in the body (per square mm) and “burned” oxygen is thought to oxidise the macula, hence antioxidants are thought to slow this process down. Examples of AREDS2 products are Macutec Once Daily, MD Eyes Once Daily Macular Health and Macuvision Plus (need 2 tablets).

Wet macular degeneration is managed with injections of anti VEGF agents into the eye. Examples of these drugs are Eylea, Lucentis, Avastin and Beovu. Injections are usually done monthly and then extended to up to 3 monthly. While 20/20 vision is not likely to return, most people do get an improvement in their vision and far less deterioration compared to being left untreated. The injections are usually very well tolerated as the eye is anaesthetised first.