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What's New in the World of Retinal Problems?
It's the holiday season and a wonderful time to see happy faces, Christmas lights and the beauty of the season. We want you to enjoy those things for years to come and the biggest threat to our central (straight ahead) vision is developing macular degeneration. So in an effort to keep you updated on what you should know and do to protect your vision, here is some updated information on risk prevention in macular degeneration.
Reducing the Risk
Macular degeneration is the biggest risk for vision loss in adults over 50 years old. Both genetics (see below*) and environment play a part. See the checklist below to help reduce your risk for macular degeneration.
- Don’t Smoke – If You Do – Stop; If You Don’t – Don’t Start
- Try Not To Get Diabetes – If You Do – Keep A Low A1C
- Indoor Glasses – Blue Light Protection on Digital Devices
- Outdoor Glasses – Ultraviolet Protection
- Macular Pigment Density > .50 – Do You Know Your Score?
- Macular Genetics – Simple Cheek Swab to Know What You Inherited
- Eye Supplements – Individual and Targeted (If Genetics Known); Population Based (If No Genetics Known)
What is Your Macular Pigment Density? (MPOD)
Denser macular pigment (MPOD) is correlated to a lesser risk for macular degeneration. Some of us have this genetically while others are more influenced by diet. Most people don’t know what their MPOD score is! We now test this in patients over 50, as it’s a modifiable factor that can lessen the risk of macular degeneration. Do you know what your MPOD is? If not, click here to email Paige, your Macular Degeneration Clinical Health Coordinator, to schedule this free test. If your eye health and vision exam is coming, we will be testing your MPOD and telling you your score.
Treatments for Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration?
There are new treatments that are more selective and potentially longer lasting for Wet Macular degeneration. These still require injections but fewer injections per year is a good thing, we believe! For dry changes, the Age Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS 2) guides us in how to treat the population of patients. Even more specifically however, we combine macular genetics and MPOD to customize prevention and treatment of dry changes. New thoughts on the horizon are the use of older, inexpensive medications like Tetracycline or Doxycycline as anti-inflammatory oral agents to slow dry macular degeneration progression. No definitive answers yet, but one of many oral agents being hypothesized and studied to prevent dry macular degeneration, the most common form.