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Treating Macular Degeneration

Untreated macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in those over 65 years old.

While researchers have not yet discovered a cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), there are treatment options which prevent the disease from progressing to blindness, and in some cases, they can even improve vision. It’s important to have an open discussion with our eye doctors in Niagara-on-the-Lake or St. Catharines & St. Catharines about the risks and limitations of AMD treatments.

Types of Macular Degeneration:

There are 2 basic types of AMD, the wet form and the dry form.

  • Dry macular degeneration is considered the less aggressive form of AMD. It typically progresses much more slowly, and the level of eyesight damage is less severe. Dry AMD is detected during routine eye exams, which is why it’s important to have yearly testing. Treating Dry AMD often involves high doses of zinc and antioxidants which have been shown to slow diseases progression.
  • Wet macular degeneration is the more severe form of AMD. It occurs when there is abnormal blood vessel growth (angiogenesis), and leakage, which can cause scar tissue to develop. Treatments include laser surgery, injecting light sensitive dyes, or AMD medication injected directly into the eye to inhibit angiogenesis.

Learn More

AMD is an age related eye disease that runs in families, and is a leading cause of blindness in our aging population. There is no cure for this ocular disease, and AMD related vision loss is cannot usually be recovered. There are treatments, and preventative measures that can be taken, if detected early, so routine eye exams are essential.

Read more about macular degeneration symptoms and treatment.b
Special thanks to the EyeGlass Guide for informational material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the EyeGlass Guide today!

Treatment for Macular Degeneration At Dr. Hopkins & Associates Optometry


An Optical Coherence Tomography scan (commonly referred to as an OCT scan) is the latest advancement in imaging technology. Similar to ultrasound, this diagnostic technique employs light rather than sound waves to achieve higher resolution pictures of the structural layers of the back of the eye.

A scanning laser used to analyze the layers of the retina and optic nerve for any signs of eye disease, similar to an CT scan of the eye. It works using light without radiation, and is essential for early diagnosis of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinal disease.

Potential Acuity Meter

Potential acuity meter (PAM) measures visual acuity behind any opacity in the eye. The procedure is done in dim light, and patients look at a light that contains numbers or numbers. The patient relays what he or she sees, minimizing any head movement. The beam of light focuses on the patients’ retina. When the patient can’t read any finer lines, the doctor will stop the test. The PAM is the smallest line where the patient could read three characters.

Genetic Testing

Vita Risk is a pharmacogenetic test designed to aid in the selection of appropriate eye supplement formulations for a patient diagnosed with intermediate Dry Age-related Macular Degeneration.

Macula Risk PGx is a combined pharmacogenetic and prognostic DNA test to determine the patient’s risk of progression to advanced AMD based on their individual genetic risk profile and to aid in the selection of appropriate eye supplement formulations for a patient diagnosed with intermediate Dry Age-related Macular Degeneration. Vita Risk pharmacogenetic results may be ordered separately or included in the Macula Risk PGx test.

Nutritional Counselling

Our St. Catharines optometrists have a full line of pharmaceutical nutriceuticals, including Macuhealth, and NutriSea Omega-3 products.

Macuhealth: MacuHealth is a supplement specially formulated for the prevention of Macular Degeneration vision loss. A Healthy Diet is essential to maintain a healthy macula. Macular pigment consists of three dietary nutrients – Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin. Nature gives us the ability to selectively accumulate these three nutrients at the very center of the retina. In other words, where vision is sharpest and where color is processed. Unfortunately, today’s processed foods lack the nutrients required to maximize macular pigment. Because of this, supplementation is now believed to be the best way to protect your macula.

NutraSea Omega-3: Fulfill your daily omega-3 recommended intake with NutraSea supplements. Available in liquid and liquid-gel formats, their supplements are made from sustainably sourced cold-water fish and squid and help boost overall health for the whole family.

Non-Mydriatic Fundus Photography – Canon with Eyescape software

A fundus, or retinal camera, is a specialized microscope with an attached camera designed to photograph the central retina, optic disc, and macula. The resulting photograph is a high resolution magnified image which can help to assess for eye conditions including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, optic nerve disease, and many others. This picture also gives us a baseline to compare the state of your eye health in the future.

Preferential Hyperacuity Computerized Macular Grid Perimeter

AMD is the leading cause of blindness in American over 55. Preferential Hyperacuity Perimetry (PHP) is able to diagnose AMD. PHP can detect defects in the visual field and measures subtle differences in the central and paracentral fields. Hyperacuity means it can detect subtle misalignment.