Diagnosis and Treatments for Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that occurs when the macula, a small area in the center of the retina in the back of your eye, deteriorates. It causes loss of central vision. Macular degeneration can be classified as dry or wet. Dry macular degeneration happens when small yellow deposits known as drusen develop under the macula. Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal vessels grow under the retina and macula. Macular degeneration San Antonio is a progressive condition because it worsens over time. You may not notice vision issues in the early stages of the disorder. There is no cure for macular degeneration, but treatments can help slow the progression.

Diagnosis for macular degeneration

Amsler grid test

The Amsler grid test involves your doctor telling you to look at an Amsler grid to check your central visual field. An Amsler grid has a grid pattern with a dot at the center, and if some lines appear irregular, it may indicate you have wet macular degeneration. Doctors use Amsler grids to diagnose and monitor your macular degeneration.

Fluorescein angiography

Fluorescein angiography involves your specialist injecting a colored dye into a vein in your arm that travels to your eye, allowing the provider to examine eye blood vessels. The specialist then uses a special camera to take images of your eye and examine them to check for problems and changes in the blood vessels and retinae.

Optical coherence tomography

Optical coherence tomography involves your doctor taking cross-sectional images of your retinae and checking for swelling, thickening, or thinning. If you are diagnosed with macular degeneration, your doctor may use the test to see how your eyes respond to treatment.

Treatments for wet macular degeneration

Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs

Your doctor can inject anti-vascular endothelial growth factor medications directly into your eyes to stop the growth of new blood vessels. The commonly used anti-VEGF drugs include ranibizumab and aflibercept. It may take several weeks after treatment before you note the difference.

Photodynamic therapy

Photodynamic therapy involves your doctor injecting medication into a vein in one of your arms and then using a special laser to close the leaking blood vessels. This treatment can help improve your vision but is not commonly used. You may need multiple treatments to see effective results.


Photocoagulation involves your specialist using high-energy laser beams to destroy the damaged blood vessels. This therapy helps stop bleeding and reduce further damage to the macula. In some cases, the laser can cause scarring and leave a blind spot on the eye. Photocoagulation is effective, but abnormal blood vessels may regrow, so you will require another treatment.

Treatments for dry macular degeneration

Your doctor may recommend you take eye vitamins in the AREDS 2 formulation if you have dry macular degeneration. Surgery may also help improve your vision. During the surgery, your specialist implants a telescopic lens in your eye to replace your natural lens to help magnify your field of vision.

Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that happens when the macula deteriorates. There is no cure for macular degeneration, but treatments can help slow its progression. Schedule an appointment at Alamo Eye Care for macular degeneration treatment to improve your central vision.