Standard Treatments for Macular Degeneration

There are many advanced treatments for patients with wet and dry macular degeneration, including injectable drug therapy, photodynamic therapy, laser treatment, and surgery.

Lifestyle Changes: Taking vitamins or supplements may help prevent dry macular degeneration.  Generally speaking, people who have high levels of antioxidants including vitamins E and C, the carotenoid beta-carotene, and the minerals zinc and selenium (AREDs)are at much lower risk of developing this condition.

Laser therapy:  A high-energy laser beam destroys abnormal, leaky blood vessels beneath the macula. The procedure is used to prevent further damage to the macula and halt continued vision loss for as long as possible.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
: Visudyne, a light sensitive medicine, is injected into the patient’s blood stream and collects in the problematic blood vessels under the macula. A cold laser is then shone into the eye. This activates the medicine, causing it to create blood clots that block the leaky blood vessels, thus helping to preserve vision.

Macular translocation surgery
: This surgery relocates the fovea, the center of the macula responsible for sharp vision, away from the abnormal blood vessels and places it above healthy tissue. This surgery can be successful for preserving vision, and in some instances improving vision, if the vision loss is recent, the extent of unhealthy tissue is limited and the tissue around the fovea is healthy.

Drugs: Vascular endothelial growth factor antagonists (Anti VEGF) are injected directly into the eye, and may help stop or slow the proliferation of abnormal blood vessels. They are commonly used for treating wet macular degeneration.

Implantable optical devices: A miniature telescopic device implanted into the eye may improve visual acuity and quality of life in people with very advanced macular degeneration. The device helps to enlarge objects in the central part of the visual field.

http://www.phillymag.com/health/treatment_guide/macular_degeneration/patients_guide.html

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