Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet macular degeneration is a less common form of a degenerative eye disease that cause a loss of central vision.  While this form of the eye disease is less common, it accounts for 90 percent of all the blindness caused by macular degeneration.

With age-related macular degeneration, the eye disease attacks the macula of the eye resulting in the progressive degeneration of this portion of the retina. This results in the loss of central vision, while peripheral vision generally remains normal.

Wet macular degeneration is characterized by choroidal neovascularization (CNV). This is the development of abnormal blood vessels developing beneath the retina. These blood vessels bleed and cause scarring on the macula which results in the loss of central vision. Wet macular degeneration progresses relatively fast and should be treated as soon as diagnosed.

With wet macular degeneration, there are some signs and symptoms of macular degeneration that may appear and progress quickly. THese include:

  • visual distortions where straight lines appear wavey or crooked;
  • loss of central vision;
  • requiring more light to read;
  • blurry or blind spot in the field of vision

It is important to have regular eye examinations after the age of 50 or if you are subject to many of the risk factors associated with wet macular degeneration.

While there is no cure for wet macular degeneration, there are several viable treatments for the eye disease. These include: 

  • laser therapy;
  • photodynamic therapy;
  • macular translocation surgery;
  • Anti-VEGF drugs such as Macugen, lucentis and Avastin;
  • implantable optical devices

It is imperative to have regular eye examinations, especially if you have had a family member diagnosed with macular degeneration. The key to effective treatment of wet macular degeneration is early detection of the eye disease.