In our line of business, we unfortunately run into many customers who either have some form of macular degeneration or know of someone who is going through the struggles of vision loss. We are often asked if CraftOptics can help those suffering from Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and the answer is, “it depends.”
For some, we can be very helpful to the point where customers can continue doing the creative work they love. For others, we may not be a good solution as macular degeneration affects people differently, with vision loss in one eye or both, and to varying degrees. Over 2 million people in the US have some form of macular degeneration.
Can CraftOptics help?
We encourage you to contact us at 888 444 7728 to discuss your particular situation.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the deterioration of the macula, which is the central portion of the retina. This is the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The macula is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.
When the cells of the macular begin to deteriorate, images are not received correctly. In the early stages, macular degeneration may not affect vision. As the disease gets worse, vision becomes wavy or blurred and central vision may be completely lost. When the disease becomes extremely advanced, people may be considered legally blind.
There are two types of Macular Degeneration: Dry (atrophic) and Wet (neovascular or exudative). It is possible to experience a different type in each eye.
Dry Macular Degeneration
The dry type is the most common and affects approximately 80-90% of individuals with AMD. Compared to the wet type, it tends to progress more slowly. This type is caused by small white or yellowish deposits, called drusen, that form on the retina, beneath the macula, and cause it to deteriorate or degenerate over time.
Wet Macular Degeneration
The wet type is less common and only affects approximately 10-15% of individuals with age-related macular degeneration. This type also accounts for approximately 90% of all cases of severe vision loss from the disease. It is caused by abnormal blood vessels under the retina and they begin to grow toward the macula. Due to the blood vessels’ abnormality, they tend to damage the macula and cause it to lift up and pull away from its base. This can result in a rapid and severe loss of central vision.
The largest risk factors include aging, smoking, obesity, inactivity and high blood pressure.
As of now, there is no known cure, but there are options available to treat the wet form of macular degeneration that reduces the risk of severe vision loss. These options include Lucentis and Avastin injections, thermal laser treatment or photodynamic therapy (PDT). The Lucentis and Avastin injections are the most common. There is also a new, implantable micro-telescope that can reduce the blind spot in advanced cases. To read more about treatment options, check out All About Vision and American Academy of Ophthalmology. With that said, lifestyle changes such as working out regularly, improving your diet, and quitting smoking may contribute to slowing the disease’s effects.
Questions? Please call us at 888 444 7728. We are happy to assist you.