Age-related Macular Degeneration, or AMD, is the leading cause of vision loss in the western world, and typically affects people over 60 years of age. Eye Doctors surgeons are experts in their field in the diagnosis and treatment of AMD.
The macula is at the back of the eye in direct line of central vision. Its function is to gives us colour vision and fine detail.
The cause of AMD is not fully understood but, as the name implies, it increases with age and may be more common in some families.
However environmental factors such as smoking, diet and blood pressure may also contribute.
Finding it difficult to read and see small detail are warning signs to be aware of. The development of distorted vision where straight lines appear bent is an important symptom that needs expert evaluation within days.
An eye exam can detect active disease and detect those at higher risk of progressing to loss of vision. After checking the vision an Eye Doctors surgeon will dilate the eye and examine the retina. Further tests may be required to detect progressive disease. At Eye Doctors we have the latest equipment to detect even very early changes.
“Dry” age related macular degeneration where there is a slow loss of clarity. This condition thankfully rarely leads to blindness. “Wet” AMD however causes rapid loss of central vision and can occur in both eyes. This is when a scar forms from blood vessels developing under the retina.
Active “wet” age related macular degeneration with bleeding and scar in the center of the retina.
OCT image showing normal macula compared to age related macular degeneration where the retinal surface is being distorted giving distorted vision.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a light scanner that can image the retina down to the cellular level. At Eye Doctors we have the latest high definition OCT scanner that can show any macular disease even before it is visible with the human eye. All this without touching your eye!
The good news is we now have a highly successful treatment for active “wet” AMD.
Intraocular medications can reduce the scarring and improve vision in the majority of patients in the early stages of the disease. The surgeons at Eye Doctors have extensive experience with these medications, which are now available called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor inhibitors (VEGF) as well as the experimental implants not yet widely available. Drs Riley and Donaldson are international phase three investigators on a number of these studies. The key is early detection and treatment to get the most benefit.
In addition, your Eye Doctor may give you nutritional advice, or recommend specific vitamin supplements to reduce the risk of AMD progression.
Southern Cross Affiliated provider benefit to Macular degeneration Patients
- no need for prior approval
- Southern Cross pays Eye Doctors directly