In This Issue
- FROM THE DOCTOR: How Laser Surgery Can Help with Macular Degeneration
- NUTRITION: Chia Seeds are a Healthy Snack that Helps AMD
In this June edition of the Healthy Eyes Report, Dr. Buensuceso discusses how beneficial lasers can be toward helping preserve your sight with AMD. Dr. Buensuceso also discusses the types of lasers used, what happens during laser surgery, and what are the potential risks with laser surgery.
We also share some healthy chia seeds news. Chia seeds are well-known for heart health and benefit your overall health. Most important, chia seeds provides omega-3s which are good for your eyes and can protect against AMD.
If you have any questions about this or past issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Cu*************@Ma********.com.
Vice-President, MedOp Health
How Laser Surgery Can Help with Macular Degeneration
In this month’s e-newsletter, we’ll be discussing laser surgery’s role in treating Macular Degeneration.
Lasers have a lot of different uses, from helping you hang your picture on the wall to cutting large pieces of steel. But, did you know that in certain cases, they also help you with your AMD?
If you have Macular Degeneration, the blood vessels in and around the macula (the center part of the retina, in the back of the eye) leak blood and fluid. This leakage further damages the macula. Blood vessels may also grow abnormally beneath the macula, and this process causes central vision loss.
Laser surgery is one of the treatment options for mitigating the damage and vision loss by slowing down the progression of the leakage.
How does laser surgery help with my AMD?
AMD comes in two types: the dry type and wet type. Blood vessel growth and leakage only occur in the wet type. And this leakage of blood and fluid must be managed in order to prevent further damage and vision loss.
This is what laser surgery does:
Laser surgery uses an intense beam of light to form scar tissue on the retina. This closes the leaky blood vessels, and thus slows down the progression of the disease. It can activate certain medicines to also seal leaky blood vessels as well.
Are there different types of lasers used?
There are essentially two types of lasers used. One is a hot laser and the other is a cold laser.
- The hot laser creates scar tissue in the blood vessels, which creates a seal that stops the leaks. But, it can also cause damage to the surrounding area since it’s not precise.
- The cold laser is capable of sealing leaky blood vessels without destroying healthy retinal tissue. This is very useful if the blood vessels are present in and around the center of the macula.
What happens during the laser surgery?
The doctor puts drops in your eyes to dilate and numb them for surgery. Then, the retinal specialist will use the laser to treat the affected areas and stop the leakage.
For cold laser treatments, a medicine is injected in the bloodstream and when it reaches the retina, the cold laser is used to activate it. This activated form of the medicine closes the leaky blood vessels.
Because the blood vessels have the potential to leak again, laser surgery may need to be repeated some months later. This is especially true of the cold laser.
Is there any risk to laser surgery?
As stated before, the hot laser may damage the macula since itï¿½s not precise to only treat the affected areas. Because of this, there is a rare possibility of vision loss.
Also, the blood and fluid leakage may come back even after the blood vessels have been sealed by either the hot or cold laser. So, it is only a stop-gap measure to slow the progression but not a cure.
The bottom line
When it comes to Wet Macular Degeneration, laser surgery is a tool to help mitigate the progression of vision loss. It doesn’t improve your vision, but it does help to slow down the disease so that you can maintain your vision for as long as possible.
Working with your retinal specialist, you can decide if laser surgery is right for you as a viable treatment option.