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Seeking information on Age Related Macular Degeneration(ARMD)? Look in here.

Retinal image showing age related macular degeneration

My retinal doctor says I have macular degeneration and need frequent injections in my eye. The doctor gets a scan each month and advises injections. I have taken 12 injections in the last 15 months. I feel dejected and I am tired of these injections. Are these necessary? Is there no cure?

  • Age related macular degeneration is a major cause of vision loss in the elderly. It is a chronic problem. 

  • Think of it like this, if you develop diabetes or hypertension, you will need daily and lifelong medication. These medications are to control your condition, not to cure it. Similarly, macular degeneration is chronic and has no cure at present. But compared to olden days when there was nothing a doctor could to save vision, now we have injections that can delay the rate of progression of this condition. These injections are essential to control this vision- threatening condition. 

  • Monthly scans are needed to check for the progression of the problem and to see how well you are responding to the injection treatment. If injections are helping to control the problem and keeping your vision stable, it is good news. It means regular injections will help prevent further loss of vision. 

  • If you are not responding to a particular injection, the doctor may advise an alternative injection or laser treatment. Either way, it is important not to lose heart at the number of injections. It is to prevent vision loss and to improve the quality of your life.

Know more about your Retina

I am a 55 year old hypertensive. I recently developed sudden blurring of vision in my eye. My family doctor has asked me to see an eye doctor. What can be the likely reason this?

  • Blood pressure can cause retinal vein to get blocked. Just like a heart attack this can be called an ‘eye attack’ and is known as branch retinal vein occlusion or central retinal vein occlusion depending on the extent of blood vessel involvement. It’s a prolonged disease where from time to time the blood keeps leaking and the patient can get swellings for which injections are advised. At a later stage, when the spilled over blood dries up, laser has to be done to reduce intensity of the disease for the future. The vision depends upon how much of the oxygen supply to the retina is restored.

 My vision after my cataract surgery was perfectly fine. Since the past 3 years I have developed blurring of vision in my left eye. I am told I have an Epiretinal Membrane.

  • Retina can have certain membranes that grow on it is called Epiretinal Membrane. It’s a layer that sticks onto the retina and contracts and pulls the retina causing distortion of vision and drop of vision. OCT is a test that has to be done on a regular basis(3monthly) to monitor the progression. If the vision drops below a certain level then surgical treatment is the only option. Even after surgical treatment the recovery is prolonged upto 6 months to 1 year and further treatment in the form of drops or injections maybe required.

I recently noticed that when I directly look at an object with just my left eye open, it appears distorted. What could be the cause of this?

  • Macular hole is a condition where in the reading and writing part of retina that is the central retina there is a hole formation. This hole may increase over time, it causes central vision blurring. Hence early surgery when the hole causes drop in vision is recommended. Surgical results are good. Patient has to undergo post op head down position for 1-2 weeks because gas is injected. If the patient does this the anatomical as well as the functional results are very good.

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