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Can Macular Degeneration Be Reversed?

Low VisonAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye disease that affects an estimated 20 million Americans aged 40 and older. It damages the macula, the part of the retina responsible for clear, sharp central vision. There are 2 main types of AMD: wet and dry.

Although dry AMD can’t be reversed, patients with wet AMD can sometimes regain some or even a significant amount of lost vision, after a series of anti-VEGF injections. 

There are also steps you can take to slow AMD’s progression. Visit Low Vision Doctors of Ohio in Columbus to learn about low vision aids and devices.  

AMD and How It Impacts Vision

Macular degeneration has two distinct types, dry and wet macular degeneration. Both of these cause the macula to deteriorate, which makes it challenging to perform daily activities. This impacts an individual’s ability to see fine details, watch TV, recognize faces, read, cook, and drive. 

Dry AMD, which accounts for more than 90% of macular degeneration cases, occurs when the macula slowly deteriorates, usually over several decades. Although much more rare, wet AMD is more dangerous, as sudden vision loss can occur. Wet AMD is caused by leakage and bleeding from new and fragile blood vessels.  

People with macular degeneration develop gaps, or black spots, in their central vision, which makes it increasingly difficult to see clearly. AMD can also cause visual distortions or blurriness. 

Is It Possible to Reverse Macular Degeneration?

AMD is caused by a mix of environmental and genetic factors, and in its dry form, it can’t be reversed or cured. However, there is a specific nutritional formulation, called AREDS2, that can slow down the worsening of this condition.

In contrast, patients who have wet AMD can sometimes regain their lost vision after undergoing a series of anti-VEGF injections. These injections insert medication directly into the eye, which helps stop the new and fragile blood vessels from forming and bleeding. This allows the macula to dry up and for some central vision to be restored, at least temporarily. 

There are also a number of steps that an individual with dry AMD can take to slow its progression and increase the chances of preserving the remaining vision. For example, supplements based on the AREDS2 formula have been proven by multiple studies to reduce the risk of AMD progressing from the intermediate to the severe form. This supplement formula consists of vitamins C and E, copper, zinc, zeaxanthin, and lutein.

Other steps to take include living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, protecting the eyes from the sun with UV-blocking sunglasses or lenses, eating foods that are abundant in minerals like lutein and zeaxanthin, and not smoking. 

Sources of lutein and zeaxanthin include fresh leafy greens such as kale, chard, and spinach. 

Low Vision Aids and Devices in Columbus

If you or a loved one is living with low vision, we will assess your usable vision and help you choose the best low vision aids and devices for your vision and lifestyle. At 

Low Vision Doctors of Ohio in Columbus, we offer a range of magnifiers, telescopes, special glasses, and more. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

Our practice serves patients from Columbus, Worthington, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, Ohio and surrounding communities.

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