Baltimore Macular Degeneration Awareness

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Monday, February 4, 2013

Baltimore Macular Degeneration Awareness


Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. commented on National Macular Degeneration Awareness month. “It’s no surprise that the number of people affected by macular degeneration is continuing to climb, especially due to the aging baby boomer population,” said Dr. Spagnolo. It is estimated that more than 2 million people age 50 and older have late AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration) which represents a 25 percent increase between 200 and 2012.  “In the past, we were pretty much only able to give patients with Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) bad news about their vision and prognosis. Today, for most patients, with early detection, diagnosis and treatment, at a minimum we can prevent further vision loss from the disease and in many cases we can actually help recover lost vision,” said Dr. Spagnolo.

February marks the 2013 National Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month. Here is what patients should know about AMD. AMD causes central vision to blur, but leaves peripheral vision intact. It is progressive and painless. There are two types of AMD, a “Dry” form and a “Wet” form. It is estimated that 85-90% of people with AMD have the Dry form which results in a gradual vision loss. Fortunately, only 10 percent of people with AMD have the Wet form which progresses much quicker and can cause catastrophic vision loss. Wet AMD is characterized by the growth of abnormal retinal blood vessels that leak blood or fluid. Leaking or bleeding vessels leads to swelling and bleeding in the Macula, causing visual distortions or decreased vision. Over time, this can lead to scarring in the Macula and create damage that may result in the loss of central vision. Patients can often reduce their risk of developing AMD by not smoking as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables, avoiding foods with Trans fats, exercising and controlling blood pressure and weight.

“What patients need to be aware of is that once you are over 50, it becomes increasingly important to have a thorough, comprehensive dilated eye exam every one to two years-and even more often if you have any family history of AMD or at the recommendation of your eye doctor. The key to preventing vision loss from AMD is clearly early detection, quick diagnosis and then immediate access to treatment with vascular endothelial growth inhibitor (VEGF) injections such as Lucentis®”, summarized Dr. Spagnolo.
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If you or someone you know is at risk for macular degeneration or concerned about age related macular degeneration (AMD) they are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.