Ophthalmologists in Chester County Reveal All about Macular Degeneration
Bruce R. Saran, MD and Michael J. Ward, MD of Chester County Eye Care Associates discuss the causes, forms, and potential treatment options of age-related macular degeneration.
West Chester, PA — Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is an eye disorder distinguished by damage and/or deterioration of the macula – the region of the retina responsible for clear central vision and the ability to see in fine detail. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.8 million people in the United States who are 40 years of age and older are affected by ARMD. By 2020, the CDC projects this number to reach 2.95 million.
While ARMD is primarily brought on by aging, research indicates that heredity may also be a cause of age-related macular degeneration, states Dr. Bruce R. Saran, a retina specialist and ophthalmologist in Chester County, PA. In addition, he notes that factors such as high blood pressure, heart disease, smoking, unprotected sun exposure, and diet are also believed to heighten one’s risk for developing and/or worsening the eye condition.
The two forms of age-related macular degeneration are “dry” ARMD and “wet” ARMD, both of which may not be symptomatic at first. Although both forms typically involve diminishing of the retina and can lead to permanent vision loss, retina specialist Dr. Michael J. Ward explains that wet ARMD has the added component of fluid and blood leakage in the eye caused by the abnormal growth of blood vessels underneath the macula. He adds that while dry ARMD accounts for approximately 90% of age-related macular degeneration cases, wet ARMD is responsible for over 80% of individuals who are diagnosed legally blind from the disorder.
At Chester County Eye Care Associates, Drs. Saran and Ward offer a variety of options to help treat and/or hinder the progression of macular degeneration, depending on the specific form and severity of the condition. Though scientific research has yet to yield a medical procedure that can effectively slow or cure dry ARMD, Dr. Saran says evidence suggests that consuming a diet rich in antioxidants and eye-healthy vitamins and supplements may aid in the prevention of the disease’s advancement. For wet ARMD, however, he notes that methods such as Avastin, Lucentis, and Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) have proven to help prevent further vision loss for many patients.
Ultimately, Drs. Saran and Ward encourage taking as many preventative measures as possible to limit one’s probability of developing age-related macular degeneration, including avoiding cigarette smoking, wearing protective eyewear in the sun, and eating a healthy diet full of beneficial nutrients. For anyone who suspects they may be suffering from ARMD, the doctors recommend seeking an experienced and trusted ophthalmologist to help ensure they receive the highest quality of care.
About Bruce R. Saran, MD
After obtaining his undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Rochester, New York, Dr. Saran earned his medical degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He then went on to complete his ophthalmology residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago Eye and Ear Center – where he was elected best senior resident – followed by his Fellowship training in the medical and surgical management of vitreous and retina diseases at the Scheie Eye Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. At Chester County Eye Care Associates, Dr. Saran and his fellow eye doctors offer a comprehensive range of vision care services and procedures spanning from complete eye exams and glaucoma treatment to LASIK and cataract surgery.
About Michael J. Ward, MD
Dr. Ward graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in biology from St. Joseph’s University. He obtained his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and completed his ophthalmology residency at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Ward then continued his education at the renowned Scheie Eye Institute, where he completed a fellowship in vitreoretinal disease and surgery.
At Chester County Eye Care Associates, Dr. Saran, Dr. Ward, and their fellow eye doctors offer a comprehensive range of vision care services and procedures spanning from complete eye exams and glaucoma treatment to LASIK and cataract surgery.
For more information about Dr. Saran, Dr. Ward, and Chester County Eye Care Associates, visit chestercountyeyecare.com.