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Macular Degeneration

What Is The Treatment For Dry AMD?

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 14:11

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

There is no proven treatment for dry AMD. Doctors usually watch or monitor dry AMD for the first signs that it is progressing to the more dangerous wet AMD. People with dry AMD usually return to the eye doctor on a regular basis for checkups every 6 to 12 months.

They also may be given an Amsler Grid to take home and use between visits to the eye care professional. The individual covers one eye, and looks at the grid with the other while holding the grid at normal reading distance.

  • People with normal eyesight can see the center dot, four corners, and sides of the Grid. The lines appear straight and clear.
  • People with AMD see wavy, broken, or distorted lines. There may be blurred spots or holes.

By looking at the Grid every day, a person with AMD can watch for vision changes. They may be early warning signs that dry AMD is changing to wet AMD. Early treatment of wet AMD may prevent further loss of vision. If changes appear on the Grid, contact your eye care professional immediately.

Can Anything Else Be Done For Dry AMD?

Some research studies have hinted that taking certain vitamin and mineral supplements may be beneficial.

  • Dietary supplements may help control dry AMD, and reduce the risk that it will change or progress to wet AMD.
  • One of the dietary supplements is the mineral zinc. The retina needs relatively large amounts of zinc to stay healthy. Many older people eat diets low in zinc, found mainly in meat, poultry and fish.
  • Others include antioxidants like beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Antioxidants may protect body tissue from age-related damage.
  • If you have dry AMD, ask your eye doctor about taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Many common foods are good sources of these vitamins and minerals. These include spinach, carrots, collards, and other deeply colored vegetables; citrus fruits; and whole grains.
  • The National Eye Institute is sponsoring a clinical trial to see if nutritional supplements really do stop or slow the progression of dry AMD. About 4,000 people are in the study. One-third are taking vitamins, one third vitamins and minerals, and one third are taking a pill with no medicine for comparison purposes. The study will show whether supplements are safe and work and which work best.

Macular Degeneration