Macular Degeneration Treatment Options

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Macular Degeneration Treatment Options

Macular degeneration affects your central vision; it usually does not result in total blindness and your side vision remains undamaged. Macular degeneration typically progresses slowly over time; its initial signs include deposits under the retina known as drusen and, in 10% of patients, abnormal blood vessel growth leading to leakage – this condition is known as wet macular degeneration.


Dry macular degeneration results from the gradual breakdown of light-sensing cells in the macula, leading to blurry central vision and difficulty seeing in low light conditions. Left untreated, advanced macular degeneration can progress to advanced macular degeneration with dark spots appearing in your visual field and loss of central vision. People living with Dry AMD may notice that straight lines appear crooked or wavy due to an accumulation of yellow deposits beneath their retina known as drusen (which has yellow deposits underneath your retina).

Drusen do not cause vision loss directly, but as they progress they may damage the retinal pigment epithelium and lead to geographic atrophy in the central area of your macula. Unfortunately there is no cure available to restore your central vision in advanced AMD cases.

If you suspect dry AMD, regular eye check-ups are important so your eye care provider can detect changes to your vision and begin treatments that could reduce its progression. Early diagnosis provides an opportunity to slow the progression of disease progression.

Wet macular degeneration is less frequent and occurs when abnormal blood vessels form and leak into the back of the eye, damaging the macula and leading to rapid vision loss. It may occur at any stage in disease progression; typically causing faster and more severe visual loss as the disease advances – it is sometimes called advanced neovascular AMD.

No cure exists for wet AMD; however, medications exist that can reduce abnormal blood vessel growth. One such medication is LUCENTIS; an injection medication that works by binding abnormal blood vessels together and may lead to improvements in up to 40% of eyes that receive this medicine.

Intermediate AMD

AMD (age-related macular degeneration) is one of the more common forms of AMD and is typically identified by yellow spots known as drusen or pigment changes in the macula. While not typically painful or noticeable vision loss occurs due to dry macular degeneration, progressive damage could cause difficulty adjusting to dim lighting or seeing fine details, or increased sensitivity to bright sunlight or indoor lights if damage continues to progress over time. You should monitor symptoms closely and notify your physician as soon as you detect changes to your vision.

Early stages of macular degeneration typically manifest themselves through blurry or distorted central vision, caused by light-sensing cells deteriorating in your macula and making focusing difficult. You may also notice objects becoming darker and fuzzy over time; such symptoms should not be taken as normal signs of aging and should be seen by an ophthalmologist immediately.

Once diagnosed with intermediate macular degeneration, your ophthalmologist will provide advice on how you can take care of yourself and monitor its progression. This may involve following a healthy diet, taking specific vitamins like the AREDS2 formula (zinc, copper, lutein and zeaxanthin), quitting smoking as well as visiting their regular for retinal examinations.

If your dry AMD has advanced into its later stages, your ophthalmologist may suggest laser surgery as a treatment option. This procedure uses a focused beam of light to destroy leaky blood vessels that form and damage macula; it has proven beneficial in saving some vision; however, repeat treatments will likely be needed over time to maintain vision loss prevention.

Late AMD

Neovascular AMD, also known as wet age-related macular degeneration, tends to progress quickly and cause more severe vision loss than its dry counterpart. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels form under the retina that leak fluid or bleed, damaging macula cells and leading to central blind spots in your vision. Neovascular AMD is the leading cause of legal blindness among people aged 50 or above.

Laser photocoagulation and injection medicine are the two primary treatments for wet AMD. When performing laser photocoagulation, your eye care provider uses a special contact lens to dilate (enlarge) your pupil, then uses a tool known as a slit lamp to focus a laser beam onto areas on your retina where abnormal blood vessels exist and seal off these abnormal vessels with laser light to protect your vision from further leakage or bleeding.

Other treatments for wet AMD include injectable medicines that block new blood vessel formation or slow its progression. Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of such medicines to both improve your vision and slow its loss rate – Avastin is such an example; Lucentis another, while yet another one is being evaluated in clinical trials.

Magnifying lenses or artificial retinas can also help mitigate your central vision loss caused by wet AMD, with research underway into developing artificial retinas as an aid for people who have completely lost all of their central vision due to advanced AMD.

Advanced AMD

Age-related macular degeneration affects more than just the macula – the part of the eye responsible for sharp, straight ahead vision – but damages to other parts of the retina as well. This damage may cause blurry or distorted central vision that ranges in severity from mild to severe and makes reading, driving and recognising faces difficult. Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and leak fluid or blood under it. It progresses faster than dry AMD and can quickly lead to loss of central vision.

As soon as wet macular degeneration is diagnosed, it’s crucial that treatment be initiated promptly. Early intervention can lower risk by inhibiting new blood vessel formation and limiting fluid leakage.

Your eye doctor can detect late-stage AMD by conducting an eye exam and asking you questions about your vision. They may also show you an Amsler grid – a square chart composed of straight lines aligned into patterns – which indicates an advanced stage of AMD. Another eye test to detect wet AMD is optical coherence tomography (OCT), which uses light waves to take cross-sectional images of retinal layers using optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology, to detect drusen, new blood vessels and hemorrrhaging in these layers using light waves; it also identifys drusen as well as new blood vessel formation and hemorrhaging within these layers as well.

Anti-angiogenic injections offer the latest solution for wet macular degeneration. These medications target proteins responsible for creating abnormal blood vessels in the eye. Macugen, one of these drugs, was approved in December 2004. Avastin and Lucentis are currently being researched as potential slowing agents of wet macular degeneration progression.


Thankfully, several treatments exist that can slow the progression of dry macular degeneration and even improve vision in some instances. Therapies like antioxidants and zinc have been found to delay disease progression while photodynamic therapy (PDT), using Visudyne with laser light to destroy abnormal blood vessels that form due to wet AMD is another promising approach; although only 15% of patients actually see any improvements from PDT treatments but nonetheless can slow its progress.

Wet macular degeneration results from abnormal blood vessels leaking fluid or blood and damaging the central portion of your retina – the macula. This causes distortion and blind spots in your vision center. While wet macular degeneration is less commonly found than its dry counterpart, its progression can be faster leading to severe vision loss.

Early diagnosis is key. Your doctor can detect this condition by viewing your central vision with an Amsler grid, and may also need to perform special tests on circulation and layers of retina and deeper tissues.

Doctors can administer medication directly into your eye to counteract vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Bevacizumab, one of the most advanced treatments available, should be injected every four weeks into each eye; other similar drugs like ranibizumab and aflibercept may help stabilize vision while improving it over time. Experimental drugs as well as surgical procedures may also be considered treatments for wet macular degeneration.

About the Author:
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Alexander Suprun

Alex started his first web marketing campaign in 1997 and continues harvesting this fruitful field today. He helped many startups and well-established companies to grow to the next level by applying innovative inbound marketing strategies. For the past 26 years, Alex has served over a hundred clients worldwide in all aspects of digital marketing and communications. Additionally, Alex is an expert researcher in healthcare, vision, macular degeneration, natural therapy, and microcurrent devices. His passion lies in developing medical devices to combat various ailments, showcasing his commitment to innovation in healthcare.


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