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Western PA Eye Institute
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Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is best described as a "wearing out" of the center part of the retina.  The two types are "dry" macular degeneration and "wet" macular degeneration. Normally, the "dry" macular degeneration occurs prior to the "wet" phenomena. The "wet" component is abnormal blood vessels that grow into the diseased area in the back of the eye. Although macular degeneration never takes one's peripheral vision it is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States due to the loss of central vision.

At the Western Pennsylvania Eye Institute we counsel you on how to reduce the risk of progression of macular degeneration. We also teach you how to monitor yourself for suspicious changes that would require an office visit.  Routine examinations at our center are done to intervene immediately if the "wet" macular degeneration, or the abnormal blood vessels, do appear.

At the Western Pennsylvania Eye Institute we use state-of-the-art intravitreal injections along with measuring the actual thickness of the retina, and looking for abnormalities by photographing dye moving through the blood vessels of the eyes where these tests are appropriate. Many patients with macular degeneration are able to live full and productive lives with minimal decrease in their vision throughout their life, and the majority do not go on to get the "wet" type of macular degneration. For these patients routine exams and at-home monitoring along with appropriate lifestyle and nutrient therapy are all that need to be done.