Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a progressive disease affecting the central vision of patients older than 55 years. ARMD is classified as atrophic (dry) or exudative (wet) forms based on clinical characteristics. Management of atrophic ARMD includes vitamin supplementation with high-dose antioxidants in appropriate patients. Patients who develop exudative ARMD may be eligible for treatment depending on flourescein angiogram characteristics. Options available to close a choroidal neovascular membrane include thermal laser photocoagulation or photodynamic therapy. Other treatment modalities are currently under investigation that may lead to more therapeutic options in the future.
Key words: macular degeneration, vitamins, laser, photodynamic therapy, angiogenesis.
Sohel Somani, MD, Senior Resident, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a progressive disease affecting the central vision of patients older than 55 years. Typically, ARMD patients are classified into dry and wet forms based on clinical characteristics. This has important implications with respect to their clinical presentation, prognosis and management options. Important risk factors in the progression of disease include age, smoking and drusen characteristics. The promising results of a new study on vitamin supplementation provide direction for treatment and prevention, as well as the understanding of the role of antioxidants in ARMD pathogenesis. High-dose vitamins (beta- carotene, vitamins C and E and zinc) should be considered in certain patients with ARMD.
Key words: macular degeneration, vitamins, low vision, supplementation, Amsler grid.
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