Macular Degeneration (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Is the Prognosis of Macular Degeneration?
Prognosis is highly variable. The prognosis is generally worse for those with a strong family history of AMD and those who develop either geographic atrophy or wet AMD. Approximately 1%-1.5% of all patients with dry AMD go on to develop the wet form.
What Are Macular Degeneration Complications?
In wet AMD, abnormal vessels can ooze blood under, in, or in front of the retina. The presence of the blood itself can cause further damage to the retina, thus necessitating prompt treatment when appropriate. Some patients develop double vision if the abnormal vessels distort or drag the macula, resulting in a shift of the image seen in one eye. Legal blindness (vision of 20/200 or worse with glasses) develops in a minority of AMD patients (fewer than 5% overall); however, when it occurs in both eyes, it of course has a huge impact on one's lifestyle.
Follow-up for Macular Degeneration
Because some people with the dry form of macular degeneration may develop the wet form, those with the dry form should monitor their vision daily or at least weekly with the Amsler grid and notify their ophthalmologist of any changes in their vision.
Your eye doctor will ask you to return for repeat examinations. The frequency of these visits will depend on your risk factors. Pictures (photographs and OCT imaging) are often taken to keep track of the macular changes. Patients who have undergone treatment for the wet form of the disease should continue to monitor their vision for signs of recurrence.
Are There Ways to Prevent Macular Degeneration?
Unfortunately, there are no known ways to prevent AMD at this time; however, there are many steps one can take to decrease the severity of the disease.
Last Reviewed 11/20/2017
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