The Macular Degeneration Association
Funds research and educational programs. Our programs feature Renowned Expert speakers in the field of macular degeneration, offering FREE programs to the patients and their caregivers locally and nationally.
- Promotes awareness of all visual diseases by means of local and national outreach
- Publishes scientific research findings
- Advocates for scientific research and the rights of people with visual impairment
- Creates educational videos on our website for those that are homebound local, national and international
- Provides a quarterly newsletter with the latest research, treatments, information and helpful tips
- Maintains a robust website
The money raised by the MDA funds research and educational programs, advocacy and awareness efforts that will support the more than 15 million people with macular degeneration throughout the United States
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is caused when part of the retina deteriorates. The retina is the interior layer of the eye. The macula is the central portion of the retina and is responsible for detailed vision and central vision.
Macular Central vision is what you see directly in front of you rather than what you see at the side (or periphery) of your vision.
Screening and Diagnosis
To determine whether you have macular degeneration, you’ll undergo a thorough dilated eye examination. One of the things your eye doctor looks for while examining the inside of your eye is the presence of drusen and mottled pigmentation in the macula.
The eye examination includes a simple test of your central vision and may include testing with an Amsler grid. If you have macular degeneration, when you look at the grid some of the straight lines may seem faded, broken or distorted. By noting where the break or distortion occurs — usually on or near the center of the grid — your eye doctor can better determine the location and extent of your macular damage.
Treatments For Wet Macular
Injections: One option to slow the progression of wet AMD is to inject drugs into the eye. With wet AMD, abnormally high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor ( VEGF) are secreted in your eyes. VEGF is a protein that promotes the growth of new abnormal blood vessels. Anti-VEGF injection therapy blocks this growth.
If you are a candidate for this treatment , you may need monthly injections. Although an injection to the eye sounds quite frightening, it is usually very well tolerated by patients with very few, if any complications. Most patients describe the experience as being less painful and unpleasant than they anticipated.
If you have fears about injections to the eye, it is especially important to discuss this with your doctor.
Healthy Eating for the Eyes
Ever since macular degeneration was identified as a disease of the retina, there have been ongoing debates among ophthalmologists, optometrists and researchers regarding the role of nutrition in protecting against the disease and possibly slowing its progress. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study(AREDS) found that supplementation with antioxidants plus zinc decreased the likelihood of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration in some people. It also showed that for 13% of patients with a different genetic profile (2 high-risk CFH alleles and 0 ARMS2 risk alleles) the standard AREDS formula was detrimental and accelerated vision loss much faster.