MACULAR DEGENERATION TREATMENTS
Macular Degeneration Treatment Varies For Wet Or Dry AMD
Macular degeneration (AMD) treatments vary depending on the type of macular degeneration you have.
Dry Macular Degeneration Treatments
There is currently no effective treatment that can reverse dry macular degeneration. However, depending on the nature of the disease in your case, you may be able to slow down the progression of the disease.
You can see Mr Mahmood to discuss your diagnosis and learn about dietary modifications that may help slow down disease progression and reduce your risk of developing wet macular degenetation. New tests may also be recommended to check the nutrient levels in your body.
Intraocular Telescope Surgery
A recent development in managing macular degeneration is the use of telescopic lenses that are implanted in the eye and allow some degree of magnification and improvement in visual function. Mr Mahmood can discuss whether this type of surgery would be appropriate for you.
Wet Macular Degeneration – Laser Treatments
The first drug to be be used for wet AMD was called verteporfin, a drug given in the veins and activated in the eye by a form of “cold” laser called Photodynamic Therapy. This treatment may still be appropriate in some cases or in combination with the newer anti-VEGF injection treatments.
Traditional “hot” laser can also be used to effectively cauterise the abnormal blood vessels that form but this is only appropriate in cases where the abnormality is not yet affecting the central vision.
Wet Macular Degeneration – Eye Injections
One of the biggest breakthroughs in medicine in recent years has been the development of new treatments for wet macular degeneration. Wet AMD patients have higher levels in the eye of a chemical called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). Chemicals that reduce the action of this chemical are called anti-VEGF injections. Anti-VEGF eye injections currently in use include Avastin (Bevacizumab) and Lucentis (Ranibizumab).
As recently as 2008, treatment was approved in the UK for patients with macular degeneration using eye injections of Lucentis (Ranibizumab). The treatment is administered monthly for three months and then is guided by monthly review. On average patients require five to six injections a year but over 90% maintain stable vision and approximately one third of patients can expect to gain some visual improvement.
The eye injections are done using numbing eye drops under sterile conditions. The procedure is short and painless with low risk of side effects.
With the right kind of support and advice many people with macular degeneration (AMD) continue to enjoy a good quality of life, retain their independence and continue to pursue their activities and interests.
NHS and Private Treatment
Most patients are eligible for anti-VEGF injection treatment on the National Health Service at their local hospital. However some patients may not fulfil NICE criteria or in some places there may be some restrictions on treatment. The best results are achieved with regular review at consistent time intervals that may not always be possible. You can see Mr Mahmood to check if you might benefit from some treatment even if you have not been eligible on the NHS or if you feel you are not being seen regularly at optimum time intervals.
With the right kind of support and advice many people with macular degeneration (AMD )continue to enjoy a good quality of life, retain their independence and continue to pursue their activities and interests.