Macular Degeneration and Treatment

Macular Degeneration Treatment

What is age-related macular degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a common eye disease which may get worse over time. ARMD occurs when a small central portion of the retina called the macula degenerates with loss of central vision. Macular degeneration is common in people who are over the age of 60. It is a leading cause of severe vision loss for older adults.

The retina is situated at the back of the eye and transmits the images that we see to the brain. The retina has two main parts – the macula and the peripheral retina. The macula is the part of the retina that is responsible for seeing fine detail, such as reading, seeing facial features and interpreting different colours. It is this part of the retina that is affected by age-related macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration may be inherited, and risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or obesity may play a role in the developmental of the disorder.

There are two major types of ARMD. These are described as dry or wet.

  • Dry age-related macular degeneration
    This is the more common form of ARMD and affects almost 80% of those with the condition. The onset of this tends to be slow. Both eyes are usually affected but usually asymmetrically
  • Wet age-related macular degeneration
    Wet macular degeneration is less common but has a more severe and rapid effect on the central area of vision. In this condition, blood vessels at the back of the eye grow abnormally into the macular area. These blood vessels may leak or bleed, causing a rapid and significant reduction in central vision. This tends to affect one eye at a time, but there is a risk of the same thing occurring in the other eye over the following months.

What are the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a progressive disease, and often the symptoms are not noticed, especially when both eyes are affected at the very same time. The symptoms include:

  • Distortion of straight lines in your vision
  • A need for a brighter lighting
  • When your central vision is reduced
  • Difficulty in adapting to low lights
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty in face recognition
  • A blurred patch or spot in your vision
  • Rapidly worsening symptoms

How is macular degeneration treated?
Treatment for macular degeneration is aimed at slowing down or preventing you from losing more vision. Dr Beatty will discuss options for degenerative macular treatment with you, which may include multivitamins, vaso-endothelial growth factor inhibitors (these are usually injected into the eye), laser treatment and low vision aids to assist in creating larger images of things that are nearby.

  • Dry ARMD
    The vision tends to deteriorate gradually, and the loss of vision is not always severe. Macular degeneration treatment involves wearing the best spectacle prescription and using bright lights. The use of large print books and magnifying glasses or low visual aids is often necessary.
  • Wet ARMD
    In order to determine whether a patient would be suitable for macular degeneration treatment, further evaluation and imaging of the retina need to be carried out. Imaging of the retina involves a fluorescein angiogram and a scan of the back of the eye (retina) with an OCT (optical coherence tomography) machine. The fluorescein angiogram procedure involves a dye being injected into a vein of the arm and then a series of photographs are taken of the back of the eye. An OCT scan is used to look for macular degeneration under the retina, and this scan usually takes only a few minutes to perform. If wet ARMD is confirmed, treatment is implemented urgently.
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  • Pleased to confirm that I had both my eyes operated for cataracts. This was the best decision ever going for this procedure.
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  • I wanted you to know that I got my eyes checked and it came out as 20/20! You did a great job. The guy who checked my eyes said whoever did it really knew what they were doing :)   Anyway, thanks for doing such a good job! Glad you were able to open up just in time before we left for the states.  
  • Roger 12/11/20
    I will definitely recommend dr Beatty. I am so happy with my Lasik.
    Roger 12/11/20
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    Ek is regtig baie dankbaar en opgewonde om so mooi duidelik te  kan sien. 13/11/2020
    Mev Botha
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  • Lauren
    Doctor Beatty is hands-down one of the best Ophthalmologist I have ever seen in my 35 years of life!
  • Gary
    Such a  privilege to have doctor Beatty  as my Ophthalmologist.
    Ek was besoeker by julle kamers tydens my vakansie in die Kaap. Ek is julle is so dankbaar vir die vinnige hulp en goeie diens.
  • John
    Lovely ladies and best doctor. Love you all and looking forwards seeing you next year for my follow-up.
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    Julle diens is uitstekend en almal is altyd baie vriendelik.
  • Rene van Tonder

    I have been a patient of Dr Beatty since 25 April 2013. I then followed him after moving practice to the new building in Paardevlei and I have not looked back.

    At Somerset Eye Clinic, vision becomes a reality. Though advanced imaging and state-of-the-art technology, Dr Beatty diagnosed my eye problem timeously, thereby arrested the disease in it's earliest stages. Dr Beatty also practices the most sophisticated surgical techniques for the treatment of patients and remains on par with international research and developments in the field of ophthalmology.

    The dedicated team of ophthalmic assistants and administrators are handpicked to optimise practice management, functioning and patient care. Visiting Dr Beatty's practice feels like dealing with trusted, loyal family. Dr Beatty's gentle, patient, kind and caring manner, fosters patient loyalty, respect and long-term engagement.

    I am a strong advocate for his practice and a patient for life.

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  • Pieter Moelich

    I was lucky enough to find Dr Beatty via a referral and I would refer him to anyone interested in Lasik / PRK eye surgery. The entire experience, which can be scary, was really pleasant with his and his staffs professional advise and care before, during and after the surgery. I am very thankful to be able to look at the world and go about my day to day activities without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses.

    Pieter Moelich
  • Elsabe de la Port

    Who it may concern

    About nine months ago Dr Beatty removed cataracts from both my eyes.

    The procedures were successful and I do recommend this particular specialist. He is always professional and it was a relaxed experience.

    The admin personnel are always friendly and professional.


    Elsabe de la Port