Macular degeneration (MD) is a disease that affects the retina over time. Since some forms of MD can be age-related, seniors are at higher risk for developing the condition than younger people. While there is no cure yet, research is being conducted to supply new treatment options for seniors with MD.
A study by the National Eye Institute about age-related eye diseases showed seniors who have developed MD might benefit from taking certain vitamins. Since many seniors are deficient in the recommended daily amount of some vitamins and it can be difficult for some seniors to cook well-balanced meals, the study indicates supplementing with vitamins may be key in slowing the progression of MD. Lutein and zeaxanthin, found in leafy green vegetables and highly colored fruits and vegetables, were shown to be some of the most beneficial. The study also found zinc was important, but only beneficial at low levels.
2. Anti-Angiogenesis Medications
Anti-angiogenesis medications can stop leakage in the retina and block the development of new blood vessels in the area with abnormal vision. Injected into the eye, usually over an extended period of time, this medicine can be especially helpful for seniors with MD. This is because age-related MD can change from dry to wet, the cause of 90 percent of the cases of serious vision loss from the disease. Many seniors receiving at-home care in Roseville have been fighting the disease for a long time and their conditions have already worsened, making these medicines invaluable.
3. Photodynamic Laser Therapy
This two-step procedure introduces medications that damage the abnormal blood vessels and then uses a laser to activate the medication. This treatment may be a better option for seniors since the use of anti-angiogenesis medications has to be continued over time, while photodynamic laser therapy is a single procedure. Since it can be difficult for some seniors with vision loss to get out for medical appointments, a simple single procedure may be more ideal for them. The photodynamic laser therapy also works faster, which is important for seniors whose age-related MD is getting worse more quickly.
4. Retinal Translocation
Though this is a new procedure, it’s shining a beacon of hope on the treatment of age-related MD. Until recently, it’s been deemed too dangerous to use lasers to treat abnormal blood vessels directly under the center of the macula, which means the condition can still continue to worsen in that area even if other areas have been treated. This surgical procedure rotates the macular center away from the area of damage, allowing a laser to treat the area and preventing further damage. This can be an excellent option for seniors with age-related MD, especially those who have experienced the condition for a while because it is the first chance for doctors to treat abnormal cells in the center of the macula. Also, this procedure may be more relaxing since a senior will likely either receive a strong sedative or be under general anesthetic, making it less frightening.
Even if a treatment for MD has helped alleviate the symptoms of your loved one’s condition, it may still be difficult for him or her to perform certain daily tasks. Consider hiring a live-in or hourly caregiver in Roseville to help. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can assist with cooking, cleaning, transportation, and much more. To schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified Care Managers, call 916.226.3737 today.