How to Manage and Treat AMD to Prevent Vision Loss

January 30, 2020

Have you been diagnosed with dry AMD? Here are some tips on how to manage your condition and prevent further vision loss.

The retina is a thin layer of tissue inside the back wall of your eye that contains millions of light sensitive cells, and other nerve cells, that receive and organize visual information. Your retina sends this information to your brain through your optic nerve, allowing you to see.

Retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration can therefore significantly affect your sight, and while these diseases can vary widely, they share some common signs and symptoms, including:

  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Seeing floating specks or cobwebs
  • Defect in peripheral vision

Often, these diseases do not present any symptoms in their early stages, which is why it’s so important to visit your Calgary optometrist regularly, as they can detect such symptoms during an eye exam and provide early diagnosis and management to prevent further vision loss.

Our Calgary Optometrists Can Help Protect Your Sight

At our Calgary eye clinic, our team of highly trained optometrists can perform comprehensive eye exams and other tests to diagnose any retinal disease early on and provide treatment options to protect your ocular health and prevent any vision loss.

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Top Tips on How to Manage and Monitor Dry AMD

If you have been diagnosed with dry age-related macular degeneration, you need to manage and monitor the disease to prevent any vision loss. Here are some simple steps that can help you stay on top of your condition:

  1. Visit your optometrist regularly: Typically, patients with dry AMD should see their eye doctor every six months. Talk to your Calgary optometrist about how frequently you should schedule visits if you have this condition.
  1. Monitor your vision at home for any changes: Your eye doctor may recommend that you use an Amsler grid at home, which you can stare at to make sure your vision is stable. If the lines on the grid suddenly become blurred or distorted, or if a spot develops in your vision, it may mean that your AMD is changing and you should visit your optometrist right away.
  1. Stop smoking: Smoking can worsen AMD. In fact, cigarette smoking is a proven risk factor for both developing AMD and for having the condition progress.
  1. Take eye vitamins: Talk to your eye doctor about whether eye vitamins can help your dry AMD and, if so, which formulation would be best for you to take.

Treating and Managing Wet AMD

If dry AMD progresses to wet AMD, the earlier it is detected by your optometrist, the better the outcome for preserving your vision. With wet AMD, the focus now shifts to actively treating the condition, not just monitoring it.

Here are some of the ways you could treat and manage wet AMD:

  1. FDA-approved drugs: For wet AMD, treatments aimed at stopping abnormal blood vessel growth include FDA approved drugs such as Lucentis, Eylea, Macugen, and Visudyne, used with photodynamic therapy. Lucentis has been shown to improve vision in a significant number of patients with AMD.
  1. Low vision aids: If your central vision has been affected by wet AMD, there are ways you can adapt. Talk to your optometrist about low-vision rehabilitation and about tools, such as magnifiers, that can help you read. There are also some helpful adjustments you can make in your home to make seeing contrast easier.

Early Detection and Treatment of AMD in Calgary

Early detection of AMD is important because there are therapies that can delay or decrease the severity of the disease. At our Calgary eye clinic, our optometrists are highly trained in the diagnosis and management of this disease, and we can help protect your vision and improve your quality of life.

To find out more, you can book an appointment online.

Alternatively, you can contact our clinics at 403-256-0606 (Health First Optometry), 403-291-0923 (Sunridge Vision Centre), or 403-443-2040 (Three Hills Optometry).

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