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Current Treatment for Macular Degeneration

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By Dr. Jane Pan

Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and nutritional supplements


The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) showed that people at high risk of developing advanced stages of AMD benefited from taking dietary supplement.  It lowered the risk of macular degeneration progression by 25 percent.  These supplements did not benefit people with early AMD or people without AMD.

Following is the supplementation:

·      Vitamin C - 500 mg

·      Vitamin E -  400 IU

·      Lutein – 10 mg

·      Zeaxanthin – 2 mg

·      Zinc Oxide – 80 mg

·      Copper – 2 mg ( to prevent copper deficiency that may be associated with taking high amount of zinc)

Another study showed a benefit in eating dark leafy greens and yellow, orange and other fruits and vegetables.  These vitamins and minerals are recommended in addition to a healthy, balanced diet.

It is important to remember that vitamin supplements are not a cure for AMD, nor will they restore vision.  However, these supplements may help some people maintain their vision or slow down the progression of the disease.

We carry these supplements in our office and your Opthalmologist or Optometrist would be happy to discuss if these supplements are appropriate for you.

Wet AMD treatments

Anti-VEGF injections for Wet AMD

The most common treatment for wet AMD is an eye injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF).  This treatment blocks the growth of abnormal blood vessels, slows their leakage of fluid, may help slow vision loss, and in some cases improve vision.  There are currently three anti-VEGF drugs available( Avastin, Lucentis, and Eylea).

You may need monthly injections for a prolong period of time for treatment of wet AMD.

Laser Treatment for Wet AMD

Some cases of wet AMD may benefit from thermal laser.  This laser destroys the abnormal blood vessels in the eye to prevent leakage and bleeding in the retina.  A scar forms where the laser is applied and may cause a blind spot that might be noticeable in your field of vision.

Photodynamic Therapy or PDT

Some patients, with wet AMD, may benefit from photodynamic therapy (PDT).  A medication called Visudyne is injected into your arm.  The drug is activated as it passes through the retina by shining a low energy laser beam into your eye.  Once the drug is activated by the light, it produces a chemical reaction that destroys the abnormal blood vessels in the retina.  Sometimes a combination of laser treatments and injections of anti-VEGF mediations are employed to treat wet AMD.

 

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

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