Wet macular degeneration is generally considered to be worse than dry macular degeneration because it can cause more rapid and severe vision loss. In wet macular degeneration, abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak fluid and blood, which can damage the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision. This can cause distorted or blurred vision, and in some cases, complete loss of central vision.
On the other hand, in dry macular degeneration, there is a slow breakdown of the light-sensitive cells in the macula, and it can take many years for vision loss to become significant. While dry macular degeneration is more common than wet macular degeneration, it typically progresses more slowly and does not cause as severe vision loss. However, it’s important to note that in some cases, dry macular degeneration can progress to the wet form.
Treatment For Wet Macular Degeneration VS Treatment For Dry Macular Degeneration
In macular degeneration there is a buildup of a protein called drusen. Drusen is a yellowish protein that can sit behind the retina. The amount of drusen build-up material determines the different levels of dry macular degeneration. In cases of dry macular degeneration the retina itself begins to atrophy. This is called geographic atrophy and unfortunately, this areas of atrophy can lead to vision loss in those spots of your vision. In some cases of dry macular degeneration, this vision loss can lead to complete blindness, and there is sadly no treatment for dry macular degeneration. Although dry macular degeneration is the more common than wet macular degeneration, the likelihood of vision loss from it is lower. There are also certain vitamins that you can take to slow the progression of it. Your ophthalmologist can help to identify which one of these is best.
Related: How Long Do Floaters Last?
In wet macular degeneration, the mainstay of treatment typically involves anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections, which are medications that are injected into the eye to slow down the growth of abnormal blood vessels and prevent further vision loss. VEGF stands for vascular endothelial growth factor, which is a protein that plays a critical role in the growth and maintenance of blood vessels. In the eye, VEGF is involved in the formation of new blood vessels in the retina, which can occur in conditions such as wet macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusion. The abnormal blood vessels that form in these conditions can cause vision loss and other complications, and anti-VEGF medications are used to inhibit the growth of these vessels and help preserve vision.
Other treatments may include photodynamic therapy, laser therapy, and surgery, but these are less commonly used. It is important to consult with a qualified eye doctor for an individualized treatment plan.
Macular Degeneration Dry VS Wet: Summary
It’s important to have regular eye exams and follow the recommendations of your eye doctor to monitor for any signs of macular degeneration and to determine the best course of treatment. In cases of dry macular degeneration, there is no treatment, but taking vitamins can help to slow the progression of the disease. In the case of wet macular degeneration, a retinal surgeon may be able to perform retinal injections to help the swelling that happens in wet macular degeneration.