Doctor insights on:
Macular Degeneration In Children
Macular degeneration: The usual risk factors are positive family history, cigarette smoking, far sightedness, light iris color, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, female gender, heart disease, and of course aging. To my knowledge alcoholism in a parent doesn't cause macular degeneration in their children, unless the above risk factors apply to the children. ...Read more
It can. ..: However it has not been proven to be helpful. The age-related eye disease study (areds) demonstrated that high dose anti-oxidants are helpful in preventing the progression to advanced macular degeneration in individuals who have signs of earlier disease. Lutein was not part of the original areds study, but is currently being assessed as part of areds ii. ...Read more
Genetic testing: About 70% of the risk for getting amd is programmed into our genes. New office based genetic testing is available for offspring of patients with amd to ascertain their individual risk of getting the disease. Most of my patients who get it find it helpful. It provides information which guides lifestyle management and frequency of visits with retina specialist. ...Read more
If a parent has age-related macular degeneration, should the children take lutein or other prevention?
No evidence: Most of the risk of developing amd is genetically determined. There is no evidence that taking supplements prior to developing the signs of amd will prevent it from developing. Furthermore, recent areds ii study results showed that lutein was not more effective than original areds formula. ...Read more
Do children ever get macular degeneration? I've heard there are forms of macular degeneration that strike only children. Is that true? How common are they? .
Age related macular degeneration cannot happen in children by definition. However, there are many diseases that impact the macula portion of the retina preferentially (cone rod dystrophy, stargardt's disease, dominant drusen, best disease... Too manny to list here.). These are often inherited eye diseases - many of them have known gene associations.
In general these are rare conditions. If your eye doctor starts tossing around "macular degeneration" to describe your child's eye condition, I would recommend seeking a second opinion from a specialist in ophthalmic genetics. We have alll seen patients get poor information from non-expert eye doctors in this area. ...Read more
Which kind?: There are multiple types of md. Many are hereditary, I see age related macular degeneration every day in my practice. What we know about it: many genes on many chromosomes involved - genetic component, but also environmental or epigenetic factors including antioxidant levels. So for amd, there appears to be a genetic component, in addition to other factors. ...Read more
Eye Exam: Dry and wet AMD are diagnosed by a good Ophthalmic exam. If you have any vision loss or problems, you should be seen by an ophthalmologist or retinal specialist as soon as possible. In the dry form there are changes in the back of the eye readily seen and in the wet form you can have sudden loss of vision which is treatable if seen ASAP. AMD usually occurs past the age of 50. ...Read more
See below: Age-related macular degeneration (amd) is a retinal condition which affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula). There are “dry” and “wet” forms. It is a top cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults (>50 years) in industrialized countries. ...Read more
See Below: Dry (nonexudative) age-related macular degeneration (amd) is treated with areds (age-related eye disase study) vitamins. Wet (exudative) amd is treated with ocular injections (intravitreal avastin, lucentis, (ranibizumab) or eylea). See a retina specialist. There are no cures right now. ...Read more
Genetics: The predisposition for macular degeneration is inherited. It is a very complex disease with several, if not many genetic mutations contributing to risk. Additionally, there are other health factors that modulate disease risk. Most importantly nutrition, but also life style (smoking=bad), etc. Rule of thumb: if something is thought to be good for the heart, it probably also reduces amd risk. ...Read more
Two types: This is a failure of the maintainance of the health of vessels supplying the critical, central portion of the retina. In the 'wet' form, the vessels leak and can cause sudden, profound vision loss. The dry form vessels slowly dry up, leading to gradual vision loss. Meds to treat the wet form are available and if successful, convert you to the dry form. Use the areds supplement to slow it down. ...Read more
Decreased vision: Both the wet and dry forms of armd cause decrease in central vision. Distortion is often an early symptom and an amsler grid is a good self screening tool. Vision loss from the dry form is usually slowly progressive and lessor in degree than the wet form which can have very dramatic decrease in vision that is rapid and significant. ...Read more
To some degree:
Macular degeneration is a wide spectrum of conditions where the tissue in the back of the eye changes with time. In most types where there is primarily gradual loss of function there is no real cure currently.
In the "wet" types there is growth of scar tissue. These types may be helped significantly with injections of a variety of drugs into the eye to suppress the growth of the scar tissue. ...Read more
Number of factors: Macular degeneration (amd) is primarily an age-related disease (age 50+), but there are genetic and environmental factors that contribute to age of onset and severity. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease (stroke, heart attack) are also risk factors for amd. Smoking is the top modifiable risk factor. Of course, there is a lot we still don't understand about amd. ...Read more
Unknown: The cause (trigger) for this condition, which is age related, is unknown. We know the effects, have some treatments available, and there is really extensive research in the cause but no positive results so far. A few are inherited but most have no obvious inheritance pattern. This is treated by retinal specialists who should be consulted if you are having problems. ...Read more
Central vision loss: I agree with dr bensinger, additionally, second hand cigarette smoke exposure at a young age can lead to macular degeneration decades later. If your parents smoked in the house before you were 18 you are at higher risk than non-smokers. There are two types of macular degeneration wet and dry. Recently success in treating the wet form w shots and -vitamins w lutein, fish oil & vitamn d are useful. ...Read more
Vitamin therapy.: Macular degeneration is age-related in susceptible individuals. There is no cure for it, but there are vitamins and nutrients that have been shown to decrease the risk of progression in large studies. The most recently recommended vitamin supplements are called areds2 and can be bought over the counter in various brands, such as ocuvite. ...Read more
Aging: There is still no clear single cause for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). It is a disease of geriatric. The incident is highest among those over 70. Genetic may play a role. Smoking has been shown to increase the risk of progression of the disease. Other conditions have also been cited such as cardiovascular disease. ...Read more
Multifactorial: Macular degeneration describes a lot of conditions potentially. Some are single gene genetic disorders such as stargardt macular dystrophy. The most common cause is age-related macular degeneration. The condition has a strong genetic association (many genes involved). Other factors such as age, smoking, diet and other health factors contribute to its causation. ...Read more
Stages of mac degen: The areds severity scale has been used to classify dry macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration does not have such linear demarcations. It is categorized into classical cnv and occult cnv. There are several subtypes of occult. There are two variants of amd, (retinal angiomatous proliferation) RAP and pcv (polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy). Findings associated with wet amd are critical. ...Read more