Your ophthalmologist may discover tiny, fine crystals in the center of your macula. This is a sign of macular telangiectasia (MacTel). They can also note macula discoloration, irregular blood vessels in the macula’s base, lipid (fat) deposits, and pigment clumps.
Your vision will be thoroughly assessed by your eye doctor first. This will include an Amsler grid test to see if you have any wavy or dark areas in your central vision. The doctor would then use eye drops to dilate (widen) the pupils. An ophthalmoscope would be used to test the eyes. This device allows your ophthalmologist to see your retina and other parts of the back of your eye.
How Photographs of the Eye Are Taken
If your ophthalmologist suspects MacTel, he or she will most likely take special photographs of your eye. Optical coherence tomography (OCT), OCT angiography (OCTA), and fluorescein angiography (FA) will be used by your eye doctor.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanning uses light to create representations of the retina’s underlying structure. The thickness of the retina can be seen in these photographs. They will aid in the detection of swelling and abnormal blood vessels by your ophthalmologist.
A yellowish dye is inserted into a vein in your arm during fluorescein angiography (FA). The dye reaches every part of your body, including your eyes. When the dye moves into the retinal blood vessels, FA takes photographs of them. The dye draws attention to any abnormalities. FA is often repeated, particularly if vision is deteriorating.
Close-up photographs of the blood vessels in and under the retina are also taken with optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). It is similar to fluorescein angiography except without the dye.
Treatment for Macular Telangiectasia
Researchers over the years have studied many MacTel therapies. None of them have been shown to enhance vision significantly. Many patients do not need medical care if their condition has a favorable prognosis.
Laser treatments can be used to help seal leaking vessels in some situations. Because of the risk of adverse side effects, this treatment is not recommended. In other cases, ophthalmologists can administer steroid injections or other medications for MacTel.
Anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors) injections can be beneficial. The formation of irregular blood vessels under the retina is a severe side effect of MacTel. Choroidal neovascularization is the term for this. The Anti-VEGF medication works by inhibiting a chemical in your eye that causes abnormal blood vessels to form under the retina. The chemical is known as VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). These injections help to minimize swelling by slowing the development of abnormal blood vessels and reducing leakage. This treatment can also improve your vision in some cases.
Unfortunately, treatments do not always seem to be successful. Clinical trials are being conducted to gain a deeper understanding of the disease and to find new therapies. People with MacTel will benefit from low vision aids to make the most of their remaining vision.
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