A wet macular degeneration treatment diagnosis might seem like you have no options, but today’s technological advancements have come a long way. For people diagnosed with wet macular degeneration, there are treatments available. While there is no cure, these treatments can slow (if not stop) the progression of AMD and sometimes restore a little sight in the process.
Most wet macular degeneration treatments aim to seal off the blood vessels leaking and causing your distorted vision. Then, preventative measures are taken to keep these vessels from growing back. Repeated treatments are common with wet macular degeneration. While some are spaced further apart, most are close together for better effectiveness.
It is important to discuss your treatment options with your physician. Not all treatments can be used — it all depends on your age, health and the stage of your wet macular degeneration. Your specialist can prescribe the best course of treatment based on your particular needs.
Early detection is the most important with AMD. The faster it is detected and treatments are applied, the more likely you are to slow the progression of AMD.
This is an antiangiogenic treatment approved by the FDA. It has been shown to be 70 percent effective in most cases, but it will not restore vision – it only stops the progression of AMD. Macugen is often used in combination with other treatments for AMD.
This drug was originally designed to treat colon cancer, but stops the blood vessels from leaking and growing back. It has had promising results for wet macular degeneration patients.
This drug is injected every other month into the eye. It does cause some discomfort, but has been shown effective at stopping the progression of wet macular degeneration. Patients must be monitored closely with this drug, because some patients may have intraocular pressure as a side effect.
Cold Laser Treatments
Cold laser treatments, like Photodynamic Therapy, are not used as frequently as drug treatments, but they can be used in combination with medications to slow or stop the progression of AMD.
While there is no cure for wet macular degeneration, there are plenty of assistive technologies and devices that can help you live with AMD. Because macular degeneration often starts by making it difficult to see straight lines, you may want to invest in apps that help make seeing small print and fine lines easier. VO Timer, for example, is an app that helps you tell the time, set timers and even offers a voice command feature so that you can clearly see and stay on schedule. This is a paid app, you can purchase it through our low vision apps page here.
Recently, a study at Tufts University in Massachusetts revealed the possibility of more effective AMD treatments. Using mice, the study revealed how AMD damaged eyes were repaired by pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulfonic acid (PPADS).
Wet macular degeneration occurs when new blood vessels begin to grow under the macula, which eventually leak blood and fluid, damaging the retina.
This new research shows that PPADS may help inhibit the growth of these new blood vessels.
As these studies continue, researchers hope to eventually produce eye drops that would consist of something more refined than PPADS so that patients would have no need to endure painful eye injections.
The famous National Eye Institute study released in 2001 (and a second one in 2006) called Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) revealed how taking a specific vitamin and antioxidant formula of copper, zinc, beta-carotene, Vitamins C & E, Omega-3, and lutein/zeaxanthin helps to decrease the progression of macular degeneration.
Rarely is this looked at as a “treatment”, but in essence, it really is. Like you, I also live with low vision. Rather than AMD, mine is caused by Angioid streaks, which is a rare genetic form of macular degeneration.
My point is that I’ve learned to deal with my disease by mastering the technology we all have at our disposal.
It’s possible to live an independent lifestyle despite your low vision. Through the use of talking technology, medication bottle label readers, food label readers, computer screen readers and magnifiers, etc, you and I can live empowering lives.
If you’d like to learn more about all the technology available to make your life easier, fill out the form below and I’ll send it right out to you.