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Macular Degeneration Treatment

MEDICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA 
Macular Degeneration Treatment
Macular Degeneration
Causes and Risk Factors
Symptoms
Diagnosis
Treatment

Macular degeneration treatment
Dry AMD treatment
Currently, there is no treatment for dry AMD. This does not, however, indicate that sight will automatically be lost, particularly if the AMD affects only one eye. Central vision may eventually be lost or diminished, but generally the rate of loss is slow.  Treatment for macular degeneration aims to slow the progression of vision loss and to improve the quality of life of people diagnosed with macular degeneration.

Once dry AMD reaches an advanced stage, no form of treatment can prevent vision loss. However, treatment can delay and possibly prevent intermediate AMD from progressing to the advanced stage, in which vision loss occurs. You may be able to take steps to help slow down dry AMD and decrease the risk of conversion from dry to wet AMD The following suggestions may help people diagnosed with dry AMD slow the progression of the disease:ask family members

  • and friends for help
  • avoid driving at night ,in heavy traffic, or in bad weather
  • avoid social isolation
  • get good glasses
  • get regular eye exams
  • install proper light in your home
  • manage other diseases
  • remove home hazards
  • screen vision regularly
  • stop smoking
  • take vitamin and mineral supplements
  • travel with others ( use vans, shuttles, or volunteer drivers in your community)
  • use public transportation
  • use magnifiers while doing close-up work
  • view with large type on the internet
  • wear sunglasses that block out harmful ultraviolet light

Wet AMD treatment
No treatment is a cure for wet AMD. The disease and loss of vision may progress despite treatment. The following treatments may help treat wet AMD:

Injections or anti-VEGF therapy - this types of drug treatment can help slow down vision loss from AMD and in some cases improve sight. During this new treatment therapy, drugs are injected into the eye to block the effects of a specific growth factor and stall the growth of abnormal new blood vessels. Multiple injections may be administered on a monthly basis. The eye is numbed before each injection. After the injection, you will remain in the doctor's office for a while and to monitor the eye.

Laser surgery - this procedure uses a laser to destroy fragile, leaky blood vessels. A high energy beam of light is aimed directly onto new blood vessels and destroys them, preventing further loss of vision. However, laser treatment may also destroy some surrounding healthy tissue and some vision. Repeated treatments may be necessary. Laser surgery is more effective if leaky blood vessels have developed away from the fovea, the central part of the macula. The risk of new blood vessels developing after laser treatment is high. Only a small percentage of people with wet AMD can be treated with laser surgery. In some cases, vision loss may progress despite repeated treatments.

Photodynamic therapy - slows the rate of vision loss but does not stop vision loss or restore vision in eyes already damaged by advanced AMD. During this treatment, a drug called verteporfin is injected into the arm and travels to new blood vessels in the eye. Then, doctors shine a light into the eye for about 90 seconds to activate the drug. The activated drug destroys new blood vessels and leads to a slower rate of vision decline. Unlike laser surgery, this drug does not destroy surrounding healthy tissue. Because the drug is activated by light, it is necessary to avoid exposing skin or eyes to direct sunlight/bright indoor light for five days after treatment. Treatment results often are temporary. You may need to be treated again.

Despite the advances in medical treatment, people diagnosed with macular degeneration continue to experience visual loss. Although people who experience AMD manifest mild to severe central vision loss, the condition does not affect peripheral vision, and therefore one does not go blind from AMD. With the help of low vision aids, people can continue with many of their favorite activities and still lead normal, independent lives.

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