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Can Macular Degeneration Be Reversed?

Apr 1, 2024

As we age, our risk for eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) increases. This condition can have a significant impact on your vision and quality of life. If you’ve been diagnosed with AMD, you may be wondering if it can be reversed. In this blog post, we’ll answer this question and explore potential treatments for macular degeneration. 

What is age-related macular degeneration?  

AMD is a progressive disease that affects the macula, which is the part of the eye that lets you see things directly in front of you. Risk factors for AMD include being 50 or older, smoking, having high blood pressure or a family history of this disease, and eating a diet high in saturated fats. There are two types of AMD: dry and wet.  

  • Dry AMD is more common and progresses slowly over time. Dry AMD happens as the light-sensitive cells in the macula break down gradually over time. As a result, parts of the macula become thinner, and tiny clumps of protein called drusen start to grow. 
  • Wet AMD, on the other hand, is more severe and can cause rapid vision loss. This occurs when abnormal blood vessels start to grow beneath the retina. They leak fluid and blood and create a large blind spot in the center of your vision.   

Can you reverse vision loss due to AMD? 

Currently, there is no way to reverse or cure macular degeneration. However, there are treatment options available that can help slow down the progression of the disease and prevent further damage. One of the most common treatments for wet AMD is anti-VEGF therapy, which involves eye injections to help reduce abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage. This treatment has been effective in improving vision and slowing down vision loss in many patients, but it does not reverse the damage caused by the disease. 

For dry macular degeneration, your doctor may recommend certain vitamins and supplements that can help reduce the risk of the disease progressing to advanced stages. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables, and wearing sunglasses when outdoors can also help protect your eyesight. 

Importance of regular eye exams 

While macular degeneration may not be reversible once it occurs, early detection and prompt treatment can help preserve as much vision as possible. Working closely with your eye doctor is essential for monitoring your condition regularly and discussing any changes in your vision or symptoms that you may experience.  

At Lifetime Eyecare in Newton and Vision Center of Lake Norman in Mooresville, we use the AdaptDx Pro® test to screen for early signs of macular degeneration. MacuLogix®’s AdaptDx Pro® test can detect AMD up to three years earlier than other tests by measuring dark adaptation speed.  

Many people with AMD are unaware that they have the disease in its early stages, as symptoms like poor night vision or difficulty reading in dim light are often mistaken for normal aging changes. If you’re noticing vision changes or are at high risk of developing AMD, give us a call today to schedule an eye exam for macular degeneration in Newton or Mooresville.