; Macular Degeneration Awareness for Indiana Patients

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Macular Degeneration Awareness for Indiana Patients

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center Eye Physicians

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center eye surgeon Scott Buck, M.D. alerted patients about the need to learn about age related macular degeneration or AMD. “The current statistics tell us that more than 2 million people age 50 and older have late AMD which represents a 25 percent increase from 2000 to 2012. This really should come as no real surprise that the number of people affected by macular degeneration is continuing to climb, especially with the aging of the baby boomer population,” noted Dr. Buck. “Whereas in the past we were pretty much only able to give patients with AMD bad news about their vision and prognosis, today, for most patients, with early detection, diagnosis and treatment, at a minimum we can prevent further vision loss from the disease and in many cases we can actually help recover lost vision,” said Dr. Buck. February marks the 2013 National Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month and we encourage patients to become more familiar with AMD if they have not already done so.

AMD causes central vision to blur, but leaves peripheral vision intact. It is progressive and painless. There are two types of AMD, a “Dry” form and a “Wet” form. It is estimated that 85-90% of people with AMD have the Dry form which results in a gradual vision loss. Fortunately, only 10-15% of patients with AMD have the Wet form which progresses much quicker and can cause catastrophic vision loss. Wet AMD is characterized by the growth of abnormal retinal blood vessels that leak blood or fluid. Leaking or bleeding vessels leads to swelling and bleeding in the Macula, causing visual distortions or decreased vision. Over time, this can lead to scarring in the Macula and create damage that may result in the loss of central vision. Patients can often reduce their risk of developing AMD by not smoking as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables, avoiding foods with trans fats, exercising and controlling blood pressure and weight.

“What patients need to be aware of is that once you are over 50, it becomes increasingly important to have a thorough, comprehensive dilated eye exam every one to two years-and even more often if you have any family history of AMD or at the recommendation of your eye doctor. The key to preventing vision loss from AMD is clearly early detection, quick diagnosis and then immediate access to treatment with vascular endothelial growth inhibitor (VEGF) injections such as Lucentis®”, summarized Dr. Buck.

If you or someone you know is concerned about their risk of age related macular degeneration or has a family history of AMD please schedule an eye exam by calling Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser. 

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center in Valparaiso, IN is staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services. We are conveniently located for patients seeking eye care from throughout northern Indiana including La Porte, Mishawaka, South Bend, Michigan City, Crown Point, Merrillville, Chesterton, South Haven, Westville, Hebron, Lowell, Valparaiso and Walkerton as well as Chicago, Illinois suburban areas of Frankfurt, Calumet City, Monee and Crete.