Care at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Penn State Eye Center includes highly trained experts who specialize in treating AMD. We feature the latest diagnostic technology, operated by staff who have special training and certification. 

Our specialists provide the most advanced therapeutic approach to caring for patients with AMD. Recent advances in treatment allow us to reduce the devastating effects of AMD for many patients when the condition is detected early.

We are also involved in AMD research to better understand the disease and develop new treatments. You may qualify for a clinical trial, which can offer access to treatments not available elsewhere.

Treatments

If you’re experiencing distorted straight lines or blurry areas in your central vision, it’s important to see an ophthalmologist immediately. Since many patients with AMD have no symptoms during the early stages of the disease, regular screening including a dilated eye examination is important for people as they get older.

Penn State Eye Center uses a variety of diagnostic techniques to determine if a patient has AMD, including:

  • A dilated eye examination to view the retina
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT), a non-invasive imaging test that takes pictures of your retina
  • Fluorescein angiography, during which a special dye is injected into your bloodstream and highlights the blood vessels in the back of your eye

Depending on your condition, we may recommend treatments to avoid further loss of eyesight, such as:

  • Injections of antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) to stop new blood vessels from growing
  • Photodynamic therapy, which involves a combination of a drug injection and laser treatment
  • Laser surgery, which seals off blood vessels that have grown under the macula

We may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Eating a nutritious diet with leafy produce and fish
  • Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) antioxidant supplements

Our low-vision specialist may be able to improve your remaining vision with devices like:

  • Microscopes
  • Magnifiers
  • Telescopes
  • Closed circuit television

Departments

Treatment for macular degeneration involves interdisciplinary care from several departments, including:

Locations

Our clinics are located at:

Penn State Eye Center
University Physicians Center
100 Campus Drive, Entrance 1, Suite 800
Hershey, PA 17033
Phone: 717-531-5690
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Groups, Classes & Support

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Learn more about our support groups offered at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Research & Clinical Trials

Penn State Eye Center sometimes seeks volunteers to participate in clinical trials related to macular degeneration.

Current clinical trials

Safety and Efficacy of Abicipar Pegol (AGN-150998) in Patients with Neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration (IRB# 2994)
 
This trial involves intravitreal treatment with an investigational anti-VEGF study drug or Lucentis. Subjects must be 50 years or older and have active subfoveal and/or juxtafoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to AMD in at least one eye.

Principal investigator: Jeffrey Sundstrom, MD, PhD
Contact: Ellen Stoute, 717-531-4696 

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Outlook

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a chronic eye disease that affects tissue in the macula, the part of your retina responsible for central vision. It may cause blurry vision or blind spots in the center of your vision. AMD is a common cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older.

Please visit our Health Information Library for more information.

We can help

If you have a question or want to schedule an appointment, call us at

800-243-1455.