Dr. Reckell shares the most common treatments for macular degeneration.
Macula degeneration does not have an actual cure, but there are treatment options. Right now, when we find beginning stages or if we find there’s a family history, I’ll tell my patients they can start taking some preventive measures by taking ocular vitamins.
Now there are hundreds of companies that make nutritional supplements for the eye, available over-the-counter, direct mail, through your doctor’s offices, but I don’t really promote one particular brand, just the product in general that you have the proper antioxidants and minerals. Vitamins A, E, and C, minerals bilberry, lutein and zinc; this vitamin-mineral mixture helps cleanse the macula area, help gets the proper nutrition to the area to keep it strong.
But when there are progressing known macula degeneration, there are different forms. There’s the dry degeneration or a wet degeneration. The dry form is much less aggressive, very slow to change, usually that patient is going to preserve their vision but have minor effects on it and can start taking these preventive measures of the ultraviolet protection, the nutritional supplementation, that, there’s not a lot more than that that they can do.
The wet form is much more aggressive, much more serious. That’s where blood vessels are actually leaking and bleeding and you get swelling and cyst and fluid accumulation happens much faster, much more aggressive and there are treatment options for that that you need to see a retina specialist.
So during your comprehensive exam with an optometrist, they will be able to thoroughly diagnose if this is the problem, let you know if you have a macula problem, then get you to the appropriate specialist for that treatment.
The treatment at this time is usually an injection in the eye of the appropriate medication, finding wonderful results with our current treatment options when you have the wet form and rapidly losing vision. I have seen many patients with resolve of that and some restored vision, which ten years ago that wasn’t the case. So our technology is giving us more treatment options.
About Dr. Susan Reckell, O.D.:
Dr. Susan L. Reckell graduated from Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris University in 1984. She holds optometry licenses in Arizona and Michigan. With more than 23 year of experience, she currently works as an optometrist at Riviera Opticare Inc.