• Leak Versus Bleed in AMD


    I was diagnosed with dry AMD at age 50. Now I'm 62 and my left eye had a bleed last year. I had injections and now the right is leaking. The doctor gave me an injection yesterday. What is the difference between a bleed and a leak? Is one more serious than the other? Now that I have wet in both eyes what can I expect going forward?


    A bleed and a leak may be signs of the same process. There are new blood vessels growing under the retina. These blood vessels can leak fluid causing a swelling of the macula without bleeding, or they can also leak red blood which would be considered a bleed. The effect of both is to cause retinal swelling and loss of vision especially if the swelling is near the center of the macula. Before we had injectable medication, the main treatment was laser which was only marginally effective and also caused damage to the tissue being treated and resulted in further loss of vision. Now there are several injectable medications that can be very effective at eliminating the abnormal blood vessels and allowing the swelling of the retina to resolve. While you do have a very serious disease that can still lead to major visual disability, close monitoring with repeated injections can oftentimes preserve and improve vision for long periods of time.

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