Wet macular degeneration treatment options are helping people to restore lost vision or to stabilize it through anti-VEGF injections into the eye and thanks to research new treatment possibilities may be just around the corner.
If you've been diagnosed with wet AMD it is important that you find a retina specialist to find out your treatment options.
He/she is an ophthalmologist that
has special training in diseases of the retina such as macular
Treatment for wet macular degeneration may possibly restore some lost vision but it is also used to prevent or delay further loss of vision.
The goal of most wet macular degeneration treatments is to stop any further bleeding in the macula . This is so important because when these immature blood vessels leak, they permanently damage the photoreceptor cells .
Can this retinal condition be reversed with wet macular degeneration treatment? Sometimes. Many people do notice an improvement in their vision. Usually the goal is to stop or slow the progression of this disease.
Here are the treatment options for wet AMD. Find out what your options are, what are the risks and what are the benefits. The three types of conventional therapy for wet macular degeneration treatment are:
Anti-VEGF drugs is a macular degeneration medication that blocks VEGF - vascular endothelial growth factor. This factor promotes the development of the leaky, immature blood vessels.
So the anti-VEGF inhibits the growth of new blood vessels. You may also see these medications called anti-angiogenic.
They are given by injections directly into the eye.
Macugen was the first FDA approved anti-angiogenic medicine. It has
been replaced by newer anti-VEGF medications that are also given by
injection into the eye.
Lucentis was the second FDA approved drug that inhibits blood vessel
growth and is also given by injection into the eye.
Avastin to treat Macular Degeneration
Avastin is an anti-angiogenic medicine that is being used as an
off-label drug choice. Anti-angiogenic simply means to reduce the
growth or development of blood vessels. It is less expensive than Lucentis but has not yet been approved by the FDA as a replacement for Lucentis.
The most recent FDA approved anti-VEGF drug is Eylea. The recommended frequency is different from Lucentis and Avastin. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is the drug developer and their recommended protocol is:
"The recommended dose for EYLEA is 2 mg administered by intravitreal injection every 4 weeks (monthly) for the first 12 weeks (3 months), followed by 2 mg once every 8 weeks (2 months)."
This means it is given less frequently - which means less trips to the eye doctor and less money coming out of your pocket.
To understand better how these drugs work visit:
To reduce the number of eye injections and visits to the ophthalmologist, recent wet AMD research has focused on the use of an eye implant about the size of a grain of rice to provide continuous delivery of ranibizumab. After positive results from Genentech's Phase III Archway clinical trial that evaluated the efficacy of an implant that offers a sustained release delivery system over 6 months, the FDA has recently given approval for the new therapy called Susvimo.
“Susvimo represents a major advancement in the treatment of retinal disease, and is an important new option for patients with wet AMD,” Ocular Surgery News Editorial Board Member Carl D. Regillo, MD, chief of retina service at Wills Eye Hospital, said in the release. “With Susvimo, my patients now have an option that can help them maintain their vision as well as anti-VEGF injections, but on a more manageable twice-yearly treatment schedule.”
Laser photocoagulation uses a hot laser to seal leaking blood vessels. At one time it was the only available wet macular degeneration treatment. This treatment is rarely used for AMD since it causes a permanent scar and visual blind spot where the eye was treated with the laser.
However there are some circumstances when it still may be considered a viable option depending on where the leaking blood vessels are located in relation to the macula.
MicroPulse Laser Therapy is a new type of therapy that uses short pulses of heat that allow retinal tissue to cool between pulses of energy.
This more controlled way of administering laser means that retinal tissue damage is prevented or minimized.
Dr. Neal Adams explains how it works in a short video. You can watch it by clicking on the link below:
There are also natural eye care choices for the treatment of wet and dry macular degeneration that include:
1. Acupuncture Macular Degeneration
Acupuncture is a method of using fine needles to stimulate invisible lines of energy or Qi (pronounced "chee") running beneath the surface of the skin.
The acupuncturist inserts needles into particular points on the energy channels to correct the flow of Qi and so affect change in a part or function of the body.
Dr. Andy Rosenfarb, ND, L.Ac., C.A. explains how this Chinese Medicine is used to treat AMD:
All the studies for wet AMD can be found in one place - at the National Institute of Health's website (www.clinicaltrials.gov).
There are several exciting studies going on like combining Lucentis injections with radiation or comparing the effectiveness of Lucentis to Avastin.
Click here to learn more about current studies for wet macular degeneration:
Macular Degeneration Research - Wet AMD
Johns Hopkins in Baltimore is one of the study sights for a Phase I clinical trial looking at the safety of using a virus to transfer a gene into the eye. It involves a single injection into the eye.
Gene therapy works by delivering a normal copy of a defective gene via vectors, which are usually a virus. The virus transfers the gene to the retinal cell. Unlike the rest of the body, retinal cells don't turn over - they last a life time.
The new, healthy gene tells the cells to make a new protein.
Find about about this study for the treatment of wet macular degeneration: