Val Zudans, M.D.

Val Zudans, M.D.

Board Certified Ophthalmologist

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What did the ophthalmologist say when the patient complained about his jokes?

“Bad puns are how eye roll.”

Dear Valued Patients,
Receiving an age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) diagnosis can be daunting, especially considering historical outcomes before modern therapies. ARMD is a progressive eye condition affecting the macula—the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. Its two main types are dry ARMD, involving the gradual breakdown of light-sensitive cells, and wet ARMD, characterized by abnormal blood vessel growth beneath the macula, leading to bleeding, swelling, and rapid vision loss.
Prevention is key. Smoking and poor diet are major controllable factors for ARMD, while genetics can also play a role beyond your control. Combatting these risks involves adopting proactive measures, such as a ketogenic diet enriched with dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens, and arugula. These veggies contain lutein and zeaxanthin pigments, which deposit in the macula, protecting against oxidative damage—a crucial factor in ARMD progression. Avoid processed foods, especially toxic seed oils like canola, corn, and vegetable oil.
The landmark AREDS2 study, spanning over 15 years with thousands of patients, demonstrated that a specific multivitamin formula reduced the relative risk of ARMD progression by one-third.
Regular vision monitoring is vital. Besides annual retina exams, check each eye separately monthly, immediately reporting any distortions or missing areas on the Amsler grid to your ophthalmologist. Such distortions may signal retinal changes, indicating the shift from dry to wet ARMD.
Untreated wet ARMD can lead to irreversible scar tissue formation and permanent vision loss. Fortunately, anti-VEGF drugs, repurposed from chemotherapy, can treat wet ARMD and prevent scarring. These drugs necessitate periodic injections through the white of the eye after numbing drops to maintain vision and prevent further damage.
Don’t roll your eyes at ARMD—take proactive steps to safeguard your vision and preserve your quality of life!
Warm regards,
Val Zudans, M.D.

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