Dr. Anthony Roberts, a Washington-area ophthalmologist who runs Shady Grove Ophthalmology in Rockville, Maryland, answers questions about research on macular degeneration and treatments for the condition.
Once a person is diagnosed with macular degeneration, how do doctors treat the disease?
According to Dr. Roberts, there is no treatment to reverse dry macular degeneration, but some research suggests that increased intake of Vitamins A, C, and E as well as copper and zinc may slow the disease’s advance. Drugs and laser therapy can also halt further degeneration. In severe cases, lens implants may restore some clarity to a patient’s vision. Regular check-ups are important, so that people who suffer from dry macular degeneration can monitor the progression of the disease.
If you’re at risk for either variant, it’s important to see your eye doctor on a yearly basis.
Is there any hope that researchers will be able to cure macular degeneration?
According to Dr. Roberts, researchers continue to study the disease and its causes. Recently, scientists discovered 20 genes that can predict whether a person has macular degeneration, how advanced the disease is, and what variant is present. Scientists hope to target these genes to create a new generation of macular degeneration tests and treatments.