Preventing and Treating Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness among seniors in the United States. This condition is very serious, and you should take steps to protect yourself. To help you stay informed, here is a look at the risk factors, how to avoid macular degeneration, and an overview of the Lucentis treatment.
Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration
Certain people are more likely to face macular degeneration than others. Here's a look at some of the main risk factors:
- • Smoking
- • Wearing old contacts that decrease the supply of oxygen to the eyes
- • Having high blood pressure which also reduces oxygen to the eyes
- • Being inactive
- • Having poor cardiovascular health which compromises blood flow and oxygen to the eyes
- • Being female
- • Not wearing sunglasses and experiencing damage from UV rays
- • Eating an unhealthy diet with too many fatty, high-cholesterol foods or foods that are high on the glycemic index
- • Being obese
- • Having blue eyes
- • Family-history of macular degeneration
Additionally, if you've already had macular degeneration in one eye, you have an increased chance of having it in the other eye. Your risk of this issue also increases when you are over the age of 50. If you have any of these risk factors, make sure to talk with your eye doctor about macular degeneration and get tested for signs.
How to Prevent Macular Degeneration
Luckily, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce your risk of facing macular degeneration. First, you need to avoid environmental risk factors. Try to eat a healthy diet. The wrong foods can compromise how your body functions and lead to a wide range of health problems affecting your eyes as well as every other part of your body. If you smoke, take steps to quit.
Make sure to protect your eyes. Never look directly at the sun. Wear a hat with a brim as often as possible, and always wear sunglasses with UV protection in sunny conditions. This is especially important if you have light colored eyes.
The Lucentis Treatment
If you have macular degeneration, your eye doctor may recommend Lucentis. This is a prescription medication that gets injected into your eye, and it helps with the following types of macular degeneration:
- • Wet age-related macular degeneration
- • Diabetic macular edema
- • Branch retinal vein occlusion
- • Central retinal vein occlusion
When you have macular degeneration, it often means that your blood vessels are leaking, and those leaks are causing materials to build up in your macula. The macula looks like a small indented area in the retina, and this part is responsible for helping you see details. When it gets blocked by fluid or VEGF proteins, your vision becomes compromised. Lucentis disrupts this process. It blocks the VEGF protein and prevents your vessels from leaking into your macula.
This treatment helps many patients to avoid surgery. However, if you are not a good candidate for this treatment, your eye doctor may recommend other treatment options such as laser therapy, vitamins, low vision aids, and experimental treatments such as retinal translocation and submacular surgery.
If you are worried about macular degeneration, contact us today. At New Vision Eye Center, we offer a range of different procedures and treatments. We can help you diagnose this issue and identify the best treatment for your situation.