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Macular Degeneration Treatment


People who develop major age-related macular degeneration(AMD) usually compensate with the large-print publications & magnifying lenses for daily activities. In addition to this, evidence suggests that some certain type of vitamins & antioxidants, vitamins C & E, beta-carotene & zinc will help to decrease or delay the risk of the severe vision loss. Consult the eye doctor about using the nutritional supplements.

Treatment for Dry Macular Degeneration

Dry macular degeneration is the most common form of the AMD and cannot be cured at this point of time, but patients with this condition should continue to remain under ophthalmologist's care in order to monitor both of the eyes. If the one eye is healthy, still the screening should continue.

Treatment for Wet Macular Degeneration

Number of treatments was available for the wet AMD. Successful treatment may not retain or restore the normal vision, but it can improve the sight & prevent the central vision loss from getting worsen. While some of the laser procedures may destroy the abnormal blood vessels, they will damage the neighboring retinal tissue.

Medications like Eylea, Lucentis & Macugen has become preferred treatment for the acute wet macular degeneration, which are helping to prevent the growth of leaky blood vessels in the eye. Lucentis is given once in every month, even though some of the patients may require treatment only once in every 3 months. Macugen is given for every 6 weeks. Eylea is given once in every 2 months after 3 once-monthly injections.

Laser photocoagulation will destroy the leaking of the blood vessels which grown under the macula & halts the leakage. Laser therapy is helpful for 10-20% of the people with wet macular degeneration. Some vision related loss may also occur, because of this treatment which creates scar tissue that is perceived as the blind spots. Yet, even more vision can be lost if nothing is done at all. Up to half of the patients who elect for the laser therapy may need treatment repeatedly.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses different, non-heat generating laser to treat the abnormal blood vessels. Visudyne will be injected into the patient's arm & flows through the vessels in the eye. Upon exposure to laser, a chemical reaction will occurs which seals off leaky vessels. Since the dye is a light sensitive, patient should stay out of sun or bright light for few days till the dye has passed from the system. Laser photocoagulation should be done before abnormal blood vessels cause irreversible damage to patient’s retina. More blood vessels may grow later on, so people who undergo this type of treatment also need to continue with the regular checkups and follow-up appointments.

Authored by Dr.S Tony Fernandez

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