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Macular Degeneration

What is ARMD?

Age Related Macular degeneration (ARMD) is a progressive, degenerative eye disease that disrupts your central vision: the vision you need to see fine details and recognize faces.

What are the symptoms of ARMD?

  • Dark or blurry areas in central vision while peripheral (side) vision remains clear
  • Distortion and waviness of objects and lines (Our office will provide you with a free Amsler grid to test this)
  • Seeing spots

What are the risk factors for ARMD?

  • Over 50 years of age
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Unhealthy diet/ Obesity
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Excessive ultraviolet light exposture
  • A family history of ARMD / genetic predisposition

What are the Types of ARMD?


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Dry ARMD is the most common form of ARMD. 90% of all macular degeneration cases are the dry form of ARMD. Dry ARMD can occur when there is a collection of drusen under the macula (yellow deposits comprised of a fatty protein). As these build up, they can cause the retinal tissue to dry out and become thinner. Specific vitamins and minerals can help slow the progression of the disease. As of March 2023, the FDA has approved a new treatment for Dry ARMD – Syfovre.


View Video

Wet ARMD: Wet ARMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula, and is often preceded by dry ARMD. Although not as common as dry ARMD, it is oftentimes more serious because if the abnormal blood vessels leak fluid or bleed, rapid vision loss can occur. In wet ARMD, high intraocular levels of the protein vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are produced. Wet ARMD cannot be cured, but its progression may be blocked with the use of intravitreal anti-VEGF injections such as Avastin, EYLEA©, or VABYSMO®. These injections may preserve, and even recover, vision.

Diagnosis of Macular Degeneration

Regular eye exams are important to the early diagnosis and treatment of age-related macular degeneration. The team at Pendleton Eye Center uses a variety of tests to make an accurate diagnosis including:

  • Amsler grid testing
  • Dilated Eye Exams
  • Spectral Domain Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT)
  • Fluorescein Retinal Angiography
Woman Looking at an Amsler Grid

How is Macular Degeneration Managed?

The proper treatment will depend on the type and severity of your condition. Management for ARMD at Pendleton Eye Center Include:

  • Regular vision monitoring: patients may need to be seen out our office every 3-6 months depending on severity of the disease.
  • Nutritional supplements: Although only proven to be effective for patients with moderate to severe vision loss, the AREDS formulation of nutritional supplements is recommended for most patients with diagnosed ARMD.
  • Intraocular injections of the anti-VEGF medications such as Avastin or EYLEA© or VABYSMO® may be necessary to treat wet ARMD. Surprisingly, when done properly, intraocular injection is a very well tolerated, in office procedure.


Pendleton Eye Center is proud to offer Syfovre (pegcetacoplan by Apellis pharmaceutical) – the newest FDA approved treatment for geographic atrophy secondary to Dry AMD.

Strategies for Treatment:

The most appropriate treatment strategy for your ARMD will depend on the severity of your disease, and its response to treatment. Dr. Pendleton will monitor your vision and adjust treatment strategies as needed. Many patients find their needs vary over time. If you have wet ARMD, Dr. Pendleton will work with you to minimize the number of injections and maximize your vision.

Treat as Needed.

A series of monthly injections are given until the retina is “dry” (free of blood and fluid), and/or the vision can no longer be improved.  Monitoring visits are then carried out at regular intervals and treatment is resumed only if fluid returns.

Treat and Extend.

A series of monthly injections is given until the retina is “dry”.  The interval between injections is then slowly increased in one to two-week increments.  If fluid returns, the interval between injections is shortened.

Continuous treatment.

Once the retina is “dry”, injections are repeated at regular intervals.  The interval between injections is rarely shorter than one month.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about retina care in Carlsbad, California, contact us today.

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(760) 758-2008


Serving North San Diego County


3637 Vista Way
Oceanside, CA 92056

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