FAQs

Find answers to your frequently asked question about wet AMD, DME, CRVO and BRVO

Wet AMD FAQs

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Wet age-related macular degeneration, or wet AMD, can result when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow and leak blood and fluid beneath a part of the eye. Currently there is no cure, and even inadequate treatment can result in tissue scarring that can cause significant vision loss. In fact, wet AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 55 in the United States and Europe.

Currently, there is no cure for wet AMD. However, there are effective treatments available. Laser surgery, photodynamic therapy (PDT), anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatments give patients several options to choose from to help create a successful treatment plan.

There are several ways you can decrease your risk for wet AMD:

  • Do not smoke/quit smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Monitor your diet
  • Take dietary supplements
  • Protect your eyes from UV rays
  • Get regular check-ups with your doctor

The signs of wet AMD are often similar from patient to patient. Symptoms of wet AMD include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Straight lines appearing wavy, distorted, or fractured
  • Difficulty distinguishing colors or contrasts
  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • Close work (knitting or reading) becomes impossible

There are many organizations prepared to help people looking for support for wet AMD. Some national organizations may host events in or near your area that you can attend, and others may even have a local branch that you can consult for support.

Eye care specialists include ophthalmologists and retina specialists, doctors who are highly trained in diseases of the eye, including wet AMD. He/she can help diagnose and recommend treatment for wet AMD and can be a valuable resource by providing information and answering your questions. If you think you need to see an eye care specialist, talk to your doctor or optometrist about getting a referral.

DME FAQs

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Diabetic macular edema, or DME, develops from an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy, or DR. It is a leading cause of vision loss in people with diabetes and can develop at any stage of DR. DME is associated with swelling or thickening of the retina and leaking of blood and fluid into the macula, a small area in the back of the eye that allows for sharpness of vision. This sets a number of processes into motion, including triggering high levels of vascular endothelial growth factors, called VEGF. Excess VEGF contributes to leaky blood vessels and ultimately cause the macula to swell and thicken.

Currently, there is no cure for DME. However there are effective treatments available. These include anti-VEGF treatments that attack factors that contribute to DME, focal laser photocoagulation which stabilizes vision and corticosteroid therapy that works by targeting different mechanisms of the disease.

There are several important things you can do to help reduce your risk of DME. These include addressing the underlying factors that contribute to DME, including monitoring and controlling your blood glucose level, your blood pressure and your cholesterol and lipids. This can be achieved by following your doctor’s instructions and taking any medications he or she recommends, as prescribed.

If DME has advanced to the point where there are symptoms, these may include patches of vision loss, blurry vision or colours that look washed out or faded. At the first sign of these symptoms, it is very important to see an eye care professional in order to have the best chance to delay vision loss.

There are many organizations prepared to help people looking for support for DME. Some national organizations may host events in or near your area that you can attend and others may even have a local branch that you can consult for support.

Eye care specialists include ophthalmologists and retina specialists, doctors who are highly trained in diseases of the eye, including DME. He/she can help diagnose and recommend treatment for DME and can be a valuable resource by providing information and answering your questions. If you think you need to see an eye care specialist, talk to your doctor or optometrist about getting a referral.

CRVO FAQs

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Central retinal vein occlusion, or CRVO, is a condition that leads to a number of complications that can affect your eyesight and the sharpness or clarity of your vision. The major cause of vision loss in CRVO is related to swelling and thickening of the macula, a part of the retina in the back of the eye. This is caused by the accumulation of fluid from leaky blood vessels.

Currently, there is no cure for CRVO. However, there are effective treatments available. These include anti-VEGF treatments that attack factors that contribute to CRVO, corticosteroid treatments that reduce the swelling of the macula and laser photocoagulation.

There are several important things you can do to help reduce your risk of CRVO. These include getting regular screenings for health conditions that contribute to CRVO, including your blood pressure, your blood vessels and circulation, glaucoma check-ups and keeping your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels in a healthy range by following your doctor’s instructions and taking any medications he or she recommends as prescribed.

The symptoms of CRVO are often sudden and painless and may include blurriness, distorted, warped, or wavy vision, or even a complete loss of vision. Floaters, tiny dark spots that suddenly appear in your field of vision, can also be a sign of CRVO.

There are many organizations prepared to help people looking for support for CRVO. Some national organizations may host events in or near your area that you can attend and others may even have a local branch that you can consult for support.

Eye care specialists include ophthalmologists and retina specialists, doctors who are highly trained in diseases of the eye and CRVO. He/she can help diagnose and recommend treatment for CRVO and can be a valuable resource by providing information and answering your questions. If you think you need to see an eye care specialist talk to your doctor or optometrist about getting a referral.

BRVO FAQs

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Branch retinal vein occlusion, or BRVO, is a condition that affects your eyesight and the sharpness of your vision. The major reason for vision loss in BRVO is swelling and thickening of the macula, a part of the retina in the back of the eye.

Right now, there is no cure for BRVO, but treatments may help:

  • Anti-VEGF treatments work on factors that contribute to BRVO
  • Laser treatments may be used to try to reduce fluid build-up and prevent the growth of new blood vessels

There are some important things you can do to help lower your risk of BRVO. These include getting regular screenings for health conditions that contribute to BRVO, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Try to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at normal levels by following your doctors’ instructions and taking any medicines they prescribe. Also, try to live a healthy lifestyle by being active and eating healthy foods. If you smoke, try to quit.

The signs of BRVO are often sudden and painless. Your vision may become blurry or have black spots. You may have complete loss of vision. Floaters (tiny dark spots that suddenly appear in your field of vision) can also be a sign of BRVO.

Eye care specialists include ophthalmologists and retina specialists, doctors who are highly trained in diseases of the eye and BRVO. He/she can help diagnose and recommend treatment for BRVO and can be a valuable resource by providing information and answering your questions. If you think you need to see an eye care specialist, talk to your doctor or optometrist about getting a referral.