Last Updated on July 18, 2022 by Aaron Barriga
Your central vision depends upon the macula in your retina. When fluid or blood is leaked by abnormal blood vessels into the macula, you get the eye disorder known as wet macular degeneration or wet AMD. This disorder makes your central vision weak. This condition is curable through proper treatment. But if left untreated, it can lead to serious eye-health issues.
Possible Wet Macular Degeneration Symptoms
- Blind spot or Blurry Vision
- Weak Central Vision in Either or Both Eyes
- Colors Appearing Less Bright
- Words Appearing Blurred
- Altered Vision
- Not Able to Recognize Faces
- Poor Vision in Dim Light
The symptoms get worse in a short time. Therefore don’t delay in contacting your eye doctor the moment you spot any of them.
Causes of Wet AMD
Aging and genes seem to play a significant role in causing wet macular degeneration. Smoking and obesity also contribute to worsening this eye disorder. It starts as dry AMD then progresses to wet AMD. If you get wet AMD in one eye, you will mostly get it in the other eye as well.
Following factors can increase the chances of your dry AMD progressing into wet AMD:-
- Being above the Age of 60 – Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration
- Wet AMD in Hereditary
- Protein Deposits Under the Macula
- Being of Caucasians Race
- More Than 5 Drusen
- Smoking Regularly
- Having Cardiovascular Disease or High Blood Pressure
- Pigment Clumping
- Being Obese
Following are the tips to reduce your risk of getting wet AMD:-
- Have routine eye exams.
- Be extra careful if you have cardiovascular disease, obesity, or high blood pressure.
- Stop smoking.
- Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat healthy food full of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids like fish, nuts, vegetables, and fruits.
- Ask your doctor for dietary supplements which can reduce the risk of wet AMD.
After reviewing your medical and family history, the doctor will conduct the following tests to diagnose wet AMD:-
- Dilated Eye Exam: The doctor uses eye drops to dilate your eyes. Then they will examine the back of your eyes with their instrument to trace blood, fluid, or multiple drusen.
- Amsler Grid Test: This test detects a defect in central vision. The straight line on the grid looks distorted if there is an issue in the central vision.
- Fluorescein Angiography: A colored dye is injected through your arms which travels to your eye. A camera follows the dye to examine any leaking blood vessels.
- Indocyanine Green Angiography: It is also done through a dye to confirm fluorescein angiography findings or check any deeper abnormal vessel in the retina.
- Optical Coherence Tomography: It is a non-invasive imaging test to observe the cross-section of the retina and any thickening, thinning, or swelling.
There are two main methods of wet macular degeneration treatment:-
Your body sends growth signals for new vessels to develop. Some medicines can stop those signals from reaching the abnormal blood vessels in your macula. Injecting those medicines in the affected eye is the first-line treatment for wet AMD. Prominent drugs for wet macular degeneration treatment are Bevacizumab, Ranibizumab, Aflibercept, and Brolucizumab.
- Photodynamic Therapy: Verteporfin drug is injected into your arms which travels to your eye blood vessels. Laser and lights are used from outside to aid verteporfin in curing the abnormal vessels.
- Photocoagulation: It is only done for patients with a specific stage of wet AMD. A high-energy laser beam is used to seal your abnormal blood vessels underneath the macula.
- Low Vision Rehabilitation: It is a therapy that helps you to adapt to your changed vision. You might need multiple visits to the doctor to fix your condition. You can be cured entirely, or some of your wet macular degeneration symptoms will go away partially.
Time to Visit a Doctor
If you notice any wet AMD symptoms, you should visit your doctor for an eye check-up. It becomes more crucial if you are older than 65.
Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs to inform readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care, especially LASIK.