Providing expert management of age-related macular degeneration for the Melbourne community
The macula is an anatomical area of the retina at the back of the eyeball, responsible for the discernment of fine detail and colour in the centre of your field of view. Unfortunately, in the case of age-related macular degeneration, the cells and tissues forming the macula and supporting structures become diseased and lose their function, resulting in progressive deterioration and loss of central vision. The exact causes of macular degeneration are not yet fully understood but oxidative damage and the accumulation of toxic metabolic waste material in the supportive tissues of the macula are thought to be contributing factors.
While some cases of age-related macular degeneration occur in the absence of any known risk factors, patients with a family history of macular disease, a history of smoking, and older patients are considered to be at higher risk.
There are two classifications of age-related macular degeneration used by eye doctors to determine appropriate treatment and management. Within both classifications, the state of your condition may also be categorised from early to advanced.
Dry macular degeneration
Also known as the atrophic form, results from the formulation of drusen, which are microscopic yellowish granules of metabolic waste material accumulating in the retinal layers. The presence of drusen and subsequent atrophy of the surrounding sensory retinal tissues result in a slow loss of central vision.
Wet macular degeneration
Or the neovascular form, can cause a sudden and severe loss of central vision. The formation of abnormal, fragile blood vessels beneath the retina results in haemorrhaging and damage to the macular anatomy.
As vision loss from both the dry and wet forms of macular degeneration is typically irreversible, close monitoring and timely medical intervention where appropriate is crucial for our patients with macular degeneration in Melbourne.
Patients with neovascular disease are suitable for treatment with specific intravitreal injections for macular degeneration. The injection of a medication class known as anti-VEGF into the eye aims to inhibit the growth of the abnormal blood vessels that characterise wet macular degeneration. Newer medications developed for use as intravitreal injections for macular degeneration have shown improved ability in stabilising the macula and for some patients, may even provide some small improvement to visual acuity. Most patients will require repeat injections under the care of a retinal ophthalmologist who will tailor the frequency of treatments to your individual condition. This may mean injections as frequently as every four weeks, or for patients with more stable disease, up to every two months.
The retinal specialist team at Mornington Peninsula Eye Clinic will ensure you feel comfortable through every step of your treatment process. Any associated risks of your recommended procedure plan will be discussed in detail with you at your consultations.
In our commitment to provide exceptional care, our facilities are equipped with all necessary diagnostic equipment, including optical coherence tomography, fluorescein angiography, and retinal photography.
Patients with age-related macular degeneration are welcome to come under the care of our retinal specialists. Call us now to organise your appointment.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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