Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease caused by damage or breakdown of the macula, the small part of the eye’s retina that is responsible for central vision. This condition affects both distance and close vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in Caucasians over the age of 65. There is no cure for macular degeneration. There are 2 forms of macular degeneration, wet and dry. Some patients with the wet form, which is far less common than the dry form, can benefit from a laser treatment to stabilize their vision loss. There is no treatment for the dry form of macular degeneration. However, certain antioxidant vitamins and zinc may reduce the impact of AMD in some people with the disease. A dietary supplement with vitamins C, E, beta carotene, zinc and lutein may lower some patients risk of disease progression. Vitamin supplements are not a cure for AMD, nor will they restore vision already lost from the disease. However, they may play a role in helping some people at high risk for advanced AMD to maintain their vision.
Monthly injection therapy can help patients who suffer from wet AMD. Two major brands used is Lucentis and Avastin. Lucentis was FDA approved in 2006 and it was the first to improve vision for patients suffering from wet AMD. It works by reducing leakage in the macula. Results may vary from person to person. Avastin injections are also used to treat wet AMD. The drug was originally approved for use in cancer patients and is designed to shrink blood vessels and shrink certain cancer tumors after injections. Our specialist, Dr. Met, will choose the best injection for your specific situation if you suffer from wet AMD.