Macular Degeneration

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Macular Degeneration and the Use of Glasses with Telescopes

Macular Degeneration and the Use of Glasses with Telescopes 0

Macular Degeneration and the Use of Glasses with Telescopes 

Use of Glasses with Telescopes

The process of adjusting to the effects of macular degeneration can be a frustrating one. People with glasses often have a difficult time adapting to their constantly worsening eye conditions because their glasses do not function as well as they used to. Since the macula itself is damaged, the image that people with macular degeneration see is going to be blurry no matter how many times they update their eyeglass prescription. Standard eyeglass lenses are simply constructed with the purpose of focusing light onto the retina, which does not resolve the issue of a deteriorating retina.

The Advantages of Telescopic Lenses

One way to maneuver around the vision problems of macular degeneration is to enhance the type of lens used. Scientists have used the age-old concepts of binoculars and telescopes to help people see better by enlarging the size of what they see. People have been using this technique to aid their ability to see objects that are far away and to see miniscule things more clearly.

Eye doctors have decided to try considering this idea in the context of macular degeneration and other eye diseases in order to facilitate image visualization. Just as people have used telescopic lenses to see fine details, people may now use telescopic glasses to assist their low vision and be able to see far away objects much better than before. People with macular degeneration can utilize telescopic glasses to improve the visual aspect of watching sports and plays, as well as looking at the small font of computer screens, books, and other important documents. Telescopic lenses can even be used to assist in driving!

Telescopic glasses are made up of a tiny telescope mounted inside the lenses of eyeglasses. They are between half an inch to three inches thick. Larger sizes generally indicate increased power. An excellent quality is that the telescope can be incorporated into the normal glasses prescription and adjusted according to daily needs. Adding telescopes to glasses can improve vision at normal distances and can even help people see things far away in just the way binoculars can.

Another benefit of adding telescopic lenses to glasses is that they can legally be used for driving in most places. After a specialized exam and training, people with macular degeneration can use glasses with telescopes to drive around like before. Being able to see clearly is a basic physical necessity that plays a significant role in daily living and social interactions. In that sense, telescopic lenses can help to improve the quality of life for people facing eye complications.  

The Disadvantages of Telescopic Lenses

The gaping disadvantage of using telescopic glasses is their physical appearance. Unlike standard prescription glasses that use a single lens, telescopic glasses demand several lenses to be mounted just over the eye. People with low vision usually only need one telescope mounted in order to improve vision. In addition, there are different sizes and types of telescopes needed depending on the extent of eye deterioration. Some lenses increase magnification, while others are used to widen the field of view. Have you ever been prescribed a telescope for distance or near viewing?

One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler, Heyedrate, Eye Love

Dr. Travis Zigler

Lucentis Vs. Avastin: The Competition For Treatment Of Macular Degeneration

Lucentis Vs. Avastin: The Competition For Treatment Of Macular Degeneration 0

Lucentis Vs. Avastin: The Competition For Treatment Of Macular Degeneration

Treatment Of Macular Degeneration

When Lucentis was presented to the Food and Drug Administration(FDA), they approved it after a lengthy testing period. There were celebrations going on all over the eye care world. Not only had they found an effective treatment for AMD, but it would be hefty in the pocket book department. The day they received the good news was in 2006. Lucentis was a step into the technology age.

Another drug we will discuss is Avastin. If you have received a diagnosis of macular degeneration (AMD), you are well aware of these two drugs. The debate between doctors is which drug is more effective and which is proper to use. If you are using one of these two treatments, then we recommend you read this article to become more aware. Not only will you be aware, you will also be able to inform your friends and loved ones as well.

Does Avastin work as well as Lucentis in treating Macular Degeneration?

The cost of both drugs is very different. Lucentis is way more expensive than Avastin because it is FDA approved for the treatment of macular degeneration. Your cost is high for treatment with Lucentis versus a much lower cost per treatment for Avastin. Doctors argue that Avastin is just as effective as Lucentis but at a more affordable price. Besides the cost difference in the two drugs, there is another concern that arises. Avastin came into being for treatment of colon cancer and other cancers. It has not been FDA approved for the treatment of AMD and is considered “off-label” for this purpose.

Knowing this, there is not enough evidence either way to answer the question of which drug works best. Back in October of 2007, Genentech, the company which markets both drugs, had a plan. They were going to limit availability of Avastin for ocular uses. Some doctors say that the drug is as effective as, if not more so than, Lucentis, but others claim that it is not as effective.

Where the Lucentis and Avastin debate stands today

Some doctors expressed safety concerns when asked about Avastin as a macular degeneration treatment. As a matter-of-fact, they refused to prescribe it. Still, others will not prescribe anything else. The debate continues to this day about which drug works best, and it’s been found that either drug can work well. Most of the time, a patient will respond better to one drug or the other, but both Lucentis and Avastin have shown efficacy.

Conclusion

If you are having either one injected, you are in good shape according to most in the medical field. One is more expensive than the other, but the effects are the same. No matter which one your doctor prescribes, that treatment is right for you, but if you are having complications, let your doctor know, because there may be other issues. Have you gotten injections for macular degeneration? We’d love to hear about your experience!

One Love,

Dr. Jenna Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Jenna Zigler

Surgical Options for Wet Macular Degeneration

Surgical Options for Wet Macular Degeneration 0

Surgical Options for Wet Macular Degeneration

Surgical Options

The wet type of macular degeneration is considered advanced. Usually the eye disease begins as the dry type of macular degeneration. When the macula in the retina begins to leak blood and fluid, it becomes the wet form. The risk of partial or complete blindness increases when the disease becomes the wet form, so many options are available, from nutritional and supplement therapy to prescription drugs and surgical options.

Here are the surgical options currently available for people with wet macular degeneration:

Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) was developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and approved for AMD treatment in April 2000. PDT involves a 10-minute intravenous administration of Visudyne (a light-sensitive drug) followed by a low-dose, non-thermal (light only) laser to the affected area of the retina. The drug circulates through the body's blood vessels and is particularly attracted to new blood vessels formed by the diseased macula.

The laser activates the drug, which can selectively seal off the leaking blood vessels without damaging the healthy retinal tissue surrounding them.

Thermal Laser Photocoagulation

Thermal laser photocoagulation is a process used by eye surgeons to treat a number of eye conditions, including the wet form of AMD. A thermal laser is used on the eye, focused on abnormal blood vessels growing beneath the retina. The heat from the laser closes off the unwanted blood vessels, preventing additional leakage and vision loss.

This process of thermal laser photocoagulation does not restore lost vision. In the past, it was critical that this treatment was initiated as early as possible in the course of the eye disease. Unlike PDT, thermal laser can also destroy healthy retinal tissue as it seals the leakage from abnormal blood vessel growth. Presently, thermal laser is rarely used in clinical practice to treat wet macular degeneration.

Macular Translocation Surgery

Macular translocation is a surgical procedure involves detaching the retina from the base, rotating it slightly, and replacing it in a different position so that the macula rests on a different, healthier base. While this kind of macular translocation surgery is unlikely to become standard treatment for everyone with wet AMD, it has been effective for some people when done promptly. It does not seem to work for the dry type of AMD because, for reasons not fully understood, degeneration continues in the new position. This procedure is rarely used anymore!

Undoubtedly there will be other surgical procedures developed in the future as the population continues to age. Have you had any of the above procedures?


One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Travis Zigler

Macular Degeneration vs. Macular Pucker or Epiretinal Membrane

Macular Degeneration vs. Macular Pucker or Epiretinal Membrane 1

Macular Degeneration vs. Macular Pucker or Epiretinal Membrane

Do you Know the Difference between Macular Degeneration and Macular Pucker/Epiretinal Membrane?

In the ever-changing world of research, many new advancements in technology have come about. These advancements have changed the way eye doctors look at macular degeneration (AMD). Also, they have changed the way they see macular pucker (MP) as well. Research started in the late 1800's and has given doctors more of an understanding of the two conditions.

In this article, we will discuss the differences between the two conditions. The point of this article is to keep you informed of the latest advancements, as well as the answers you seek. If you or your loved ones suffer from AMD or MP, then we recommend you read this article.

What Is Macular Degeneration?

AMD is an eye condition that results from damage to the macula, or the center of vision. Many people suffer from this condition and AMD is also the cause of severe vision loss in many of the elderly. The damage that AMD causes is not curable, but the condition is treatable in most cases.

Doctors today use a variety of treatment methods to slow down and stop the damage that AMD causes. Treatments often begin with AREDS2 vitamin supplementation and diet/lifestyle changes (like removing smoking from your life!) and may progress to injectable medications like Lucentis, Eylea, Macugen, and Visudyne.  These are all administered in office by an ophthalmologist.

What Is Macular Pucker?

A macular pucker is scar tissue that has formed on the eye’s macula. The macula is in the center of the retina. It is one of the components in the eye that makes the eye light-sensitive. When enough scar tissue builds up, it makes the macula less sensitive to the light and may inhibit light filtration. MP (or Epiretinal Membrane) gives the appearance of wrinkled cellophane over the macula, so this condition is sometimes also known as Cellophane Maculopathy.

So now you are likely asking yourself if AMD and MP are related in any way. The answer is no. The two conditions are as different as night and day. So different in fact that they both take two different treatments. Where AMD takes supplements, laser, and injections to treat, macular pucker requires no treatment in the early stages. The blurry effects that the scar tissue has on the macula is minimal in most cases.

The condition becomes more likely as you age. The vitreous fluid in the eye shrinks and pulls away from the retina. That is what causes blurry vision in some elderly people. If the vision loss from MP is significant, extensive procedures (like a vitrectomy) can be done to treat it...but only in the most severe cases!

Conclusion

Macular degeneration and macular pucker are two different issues, but they can both be present at the same time. If you are having blurry vision, we recommend you visit your eye care specialist as soon as possible. Seeing your eye doctor now can reduce the risk of vision loss and ensure great vision for as long as possible. Do you have either of these conditions? Let’s hear about your experience below!

One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Travis Zigler

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