Age-Related Macular Degeneration – FAQ

Read frequently asked questions about Age‐related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Q) Do I have “wet” or “dry” AMD? What is the difference?

A) Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula. Dry AMD occurs when the light-­‐sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye. Both wet and dry AMD can lead to significant vision loss. Currently, the only “treatment” for dry AMD is to take a supplement containing zinc, copper, vitamins C & E, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin (see information on AREDS 2). Because no supplement or vitamin is without risk, you should speak with our physician before starting any new medications. The wet form of AMD can currently be treated with injections of anti-­‐vascular endothelial growth factor (Anti‐VEGF) into the vitreous to halt the abnormal vessel growth under the macula.

Q) Will injections of anti‐VEGF cure my AMD?

A) There is no cure for AMD at this time. Presently, the best that can be done is to slow the progression of the disease. Some individuals require monthly injections and others may only receive them periodically to keep it under control.

Q) What is the maximum number of injections I can receive?

A) There is no maximum number known at this time. There have been no contraindications to regular injections over a period of several years.

Q) My doctor says I have scars on my maculae from wet AMD. Will the injections help me?

A) Unfortunately, scarring from AMD cannot be reversed at this time. The best indicator of whether your AMD is treatable is to see a qualified eye professional, such as those at Intermountain Eye Centers.

Q) Will I go blind from AMD?

A) AMD is the leading cause of visual loss in people over the age of 60 in the U.S. today. This is not the same as total blindness. AMD affects the macula. Although that is the area of your retina responsible for straight-­‐ahead vision, reading, recognizing facial features, and driving, the peripheral retina is largely unaffected. Therefore, at its worst, you will still retain your side vision in each eye, often allowing you to continue to care for yourself with some adjustments in your lifestyle. You will not be left in total darkness due to AMD.