Galveston & Houston eye doctor Dr. Da-Thuy Van commented on age related macular degeneration (AMD) treatment results and predictive factors for best success and outcome with Lucentis® injections. “Looking at the data from the long term clinical trials has shown that there can be considerable variability in patient responses to the Lucentis® injections we use to treat age related macular degeneration,” said Dr. Van of The Eye Clinic of Texas. “The good news is that thisinformation has been quite useful in establishing a number of diagnostic and treatment parameters that we use to optimize treatment and monitoring regimens to help patients get the best possible results,” Dr. Van explained.

Here are some important factors and considerations that we know today:

  • The initial visual acuity is not a good indicator for patients treated with monthly injections of Lucentis®. But, a poorer initial visual acuity seems to predict greater overall improvement.
  • Smaller areas of blood vessel growth seem to respond better to treatment.
  • If treatment begins BEFORE any hemorrhage has occurred there is usually a more favorable result.
  • The visual acuity found between the 3 and 5 month visit seems to predict about where the 12 month visit acuity will end up.
  • If there is a recurrence of subretinal fluid there is usually a negative effect on the long term visual recovery and functioning.

While there can be no guarantees, by using this information we can work to hopefully avoid the catastrophic vision loss from Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).  YOUR role is to be consistent in scheduling routine eye exams if you are over 50 years old or even earlier if you have a family history of AMD-and should you notice symptoms including distortion of your vision, waviness or curving of lines or straight surfaces or a sudden change or spots of any kind, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937for an immediate appointment. The key to maintaining eye health and vision is early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

If you or someone you know has a family history of macular degeneration or is concerned about macular degeneration it is important to schedule regular eye exams by calling The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visiting The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

“There is some important new research about risk factors for macular degeneration progression,” commented Ophthalmologist Allan Fradkin, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas serving greater Houston & Galveston. “Data from a report published in Ophthalmology evaluated age, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, genetic variations, pre-existing retinal disease and drusen size to establish an algorithm for predicting the risk of patients in progressing to the move visually disabling advanced age related macular degeneration,” stated Dr. Fradkin. “What we now know for sure is that the increased risk of progression is correlated with age, lower educational level, being a current or former smoker and having a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who did not progress. This is helpful in how we counsel, evaluate and follow patients at risk for macular degeneration.”

If you are over 50 years old or even earlier if you have a family history of AMD or any of the risk factors mentioned, you should please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

Dr. Da-Thuy Van
Dr. Da-Thuy Van

“As we enter the 2013 National Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month, we ask Houston patients to take a moment and consider how they can help preserve their eye health and vision with a better familiarity of AMD”, said Houston eye specialist Dr. Da-Thuy Van of The Clinic of Texas. It is estimated that more than 2 million people age 50 and older have late AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration) which represents a 25 percent increase between 2000 and 2012.  “It’s not surprising that the number of people affected by macular degeneration continues to grow, especially due to the aging baby boomer population,” said Dr. Van.  “In the past, we were pretty much only able to give patients with Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) bad news about their vision and prognosis. Today, for most patients, with early detection, diagnosis and treatment, at a minimum we can prevent further vision loss from the disease and in many cases we can actually help recover lost vision,” she further explained.

What to Know About Age Related Macular Degeneration

AMD causes central vision to blur, but leaves peripheral vision intact. It is progressive and painless. There are two types of AMD, a “Dry” form and a “Wet” form. It is estimated that 85-90% of people with AMD have the Dry form which results in a gradual vision loss. Fortunately, only 10 percent of people with AMD have the Wet form which progresses much quicker and can cause catastrophic vision loss. Wet AMD is characterized by the growth of abnormal retinal blood vessels that leak blood or fluid. Leaking or bleeding vessels leads to swelling and bleeding in the Macula, causing visual distortions or decreased vision. Over time, this can lead to scarring in the Macula and create damage that may result in the loss of central vision. Patients can often reduce their risk of developing AMD by not smoking as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables, avoiding foods with Trans fats, exercising and controlling blood pressure and weight.

“What patients need to be aware of is that once you are over 50, it becomes increasingly important to have a thorough, comprehensive dilated eye exam every one to two years-and even more often if you have any family history of AMD or at the recommendation of your eye doctor. The key to preventing vision loss from AMD is clearly early detection, quick diagnosis and then immediate access to treatment with vascular endothelial growth inhibitor (VEGF) injections such as Lucentis®.” summarized Dr. Van.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about age related macular degeneration (AMD), please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment. 

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology group in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.