Eye doctor exams retina of senior woman

Medicare Macular Degeneration

Medicare Part B covers age-related macular degeneration (AMD) treatment. Furthermore, Medicare covers diagnostic tests for AMD. For people 50 years and older, it’s the leading cause of vision loss. So what is AMD?

AMD is an eye disease that affects the macula (center part) of your retina. It causes the center of your vision to become blurry. Whether you look close or far, AMD causes the center of your vision to be out-of-focus. However, you can still see fine details in your peripheral (side) vision. (AAO.org)

Medicare Macular Degeneration - clock face blurry center

For example, a clock’s hands will look blurry, and the numbers will be in focus. Age-related Macular Degeneration is also called Dry AMD.

Dry AMD

Dry AMD is the most common, affecting 80% of those who have the disease. As you age, tiny clumps of protein (drusen) grow under the retina, causing you to lose central vision slowly. As a result, dry AMD breaks down or thins the macula. However, Wet AMD is less common and progresses much faster.

Wet AMD

Medicare treatment for this type of macular degeneration (wet AMD) is eye injections. You lose vision much faster with wet AMD than dry AMD. Wet AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. Blood may leak from these vessels, causing scarring of the macula.

Medicare Macular Degeneration - senior man eye exam
Eye doctor exams retina of senior man.

Medicare Macular Degeneration Treatments

Your Medicare-covered Macular Degeneration treatment will depend on your type of AMD. Doctors treat Age-related wet Macular Degeneration (wet AMD) using drugs. Thus, you will need a Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage. However, doctors treat dry AMD with vitamins and minerals.

Wet AMD Treatment

In 2005, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs helped save the sight of patients with wet AMD. These drugs stabilized or improved vision in many patients. However, patients had to take eye injections regularly. For example, many patients need eye injections every four to eight weeks to keep their vision. (AAO.org)

Eye doctor exams retina of senior woman
Eye doctor exams retina of senior woman
Senior woman takes pill with glass of water

Dry AMD Treatment

There is no cure for dry AMD. However, you can slow this eye disease by taking a specific mix of vitamins and minerals. The following daily nutritional supplements may help lower your risk of getting wet AMD. (AAO.org)

  • Vitamin C (500 mg)
  • Vitamin E (400 IUs)
  • Lutein (10mg)
  • Zeaxanthin (2 mg)
  • Zinc (as zinc oxide 80 mg)
  • Copper (as cupric oxide 2 mg)

However, eating a healthy diet is more effective for preventing or delaying advanced AMG.

A Healthy Diet can Protect Your Vision

Eating a healthy diet can help protect your vision. You can lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts with a nutrient-rich diet. Please eat the following foods to protect your vision:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin c, such as sweet peppers, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, and strawberries.
  • Consume foods with vitamin E, including almonds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, and avocadoes.
  • Cook and eat foods that contain zinc, such as beans, meat/seafood, and eggs.

Eating carotenoid-rich foods can help protect your vision. Carotenoid foods are colorful (yellow, orange, and red) vegetables and fruits, such as carrots, corn, and tomatoes.

Medicare Macular Degeneration - Senior man holds oranges over eyes
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin c.

Medicare Macular Degeneration Coverage

Medicare Part B covers 80% of your outpatient eye doctor visits when you have age-related macular degeneration. If you have service in a hospital outpatient setting, you pay a copayment. However, if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan such as Plan G, it covers your 20% coinsurance and copayments. Call Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-855-368-4717 to shop Medigap Plans or get your quote.

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