How common is macular degeneration in north american caucasians?

Very. It is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 in the us, and its prevalence will increase as the baby boomers age. Fortunately, this is an active area of research and it is likely that new therapeutic options the more common (dry) types of amd will be on the horizon soon.
All too common. The incidence is about 10% in people 66-74 years of age, rising to over 30% in 75-84 year olds. Not all patients with macular degeneration lose sight. There is now a test for genetic markers predisposing you to armd. Ask your doc about this. May help to reveal if you are likely to get it! Don't smoke, eat an anti-oxidant rich diet and protect your eyes from too much sun to reduce risk!

Related Questions

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. 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.
We. We use the term macular degeneration to designate a specific disease that only affects adults as we age. There are degenerations of the macule in kids, but not called by that name. A retina specialist is your best choice for further advice!

With regards to macular degeneration what are the commons symptoms you commonly see in patients? Treatments?

Blurred vision. Common symptoms include blurred or distorted central vision. Many times, this is more noticeable when reading. For dry amd, treatment includes areds vitamins, smoking cessation, opitimizing vascular health. For wet amd, it is treated by intraocular injections, often times monthly. The injections 90-95% of the time stop the vision loss, 30-40% notice improvement in vision.
Many. Age related macular degeneration (amd) is a leading cause of visual loss in the elderly population. Treatment depends on type and severity of amd. The symptoms are highly variable also: mild to moderate blurring in central areas of vision, distortion of images, haziness. Sometimes, in early stages, pt do not yet have symptoms.

What is macular degeneration?

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.

What is macular degeneration?

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.
Many. Age related macular degeneration (amd) is a leading cause of visual loss in the elderly population. Treatment depends on type and severity of amd. The symptoms are highly variable also: mild to moderate blurring in central areas of vision, distortion of images, haziness. Sometimes, in early stages, pt do not yet have symptoms.

Is macular degeneration curabr?

No. Macular degeneration cannot be cured. Certain vitamins and fish oil can slow the progression of the disease.
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.
No. Right now we have treatments, some of which are very good to treat wet amd, but there is no real cure.

What causes macular degeneration?

Vitamins lifestyle. Macular degeneration is thought to occur from aging, exposure to uv radiation, exposure to toxins (smoking) and "pre-programmed" by genetics (family and race). You can lessen your risk by am early eye exam, don't smoke, shield your exposure from uv and follow your doctor's advice for nutrition and vitamins based on your age and exam. No prescribed drug yet.
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.

Will ookp help macular degeneration?

Which kind? Dry/nonexudative macular degeneration has no quick treatment, only areds vitmains to lessen the risk of future vision loss. Wet/exudative macular degeneration requires timely injections of medicine directly in the eye (intravitreal avastin, lucentis, (ranibizumab) or eylea). If your vision is severely bilaterally affected, you can see a low vision specialist. Ask your retina specialist today.
No. The osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis (ookp) is a replacement for the cornea. The problem in macular degeneration is the other end of the eye, the retina.

What exactly is macular degeneration?

Two main forms. There are two general types: the dry form accounting for about 85% of cases which is generally a slow decrease of central vision. The wet form which is more severe has new blood vessels growing in the macula and generally causes more serious and rapid vision loss.
Eye disease. Dysregulation of the complement system with some gene-enivronment interaction (nutrition, smoking, etc) leads to leakage, build up of lipid deposits, neovascularization, and vision loss.
Central vision loss. 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.
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.
Central visual loss. Macular degeneration is usually classified as either wet or dry. Wet involves the development of an abnormal vascular membrane which bleeds and damages the overlying retinal tissue. Dry is the slow atrophy of the retinal tissue. There is drug therapy in the form of intraocular injections available to treat the wet form if caught at an early enough stage.

How can I help my macular degeneration?

See ophthalmologist. Regularly, and in some cases, eye vitamins can help. Also avoid sun.
Which kind? Dry/nonexudative macular degeneration has no quick treatment, only areds vitmains. Wet/exudative macular degeneration requires timely injections of medicine directly in the eye (intravitreal avastin, lucentis, (ranibizumab) or eylea). If you're vision is severely bilaterally affected, you can see a low vision specialist. Ask your retina specialist today.