At this time, there are no cures for macular degeneration. But, vision therapy and other treatments helps to slow the disease’s progression if diagnosed early. You may also take steps toward securing your eye health by eating healthy meals, taking vitamin supplements, and not smoking.
After diagnosis, your eye doctor will inform you of the best treatment method to address your condition. Some of the treatment procedures he or she may recommend include the following:
Anti-angiogenic drugs, also called angiogenesis inhibitors are drugs that prevent angiogenesis. They block the passage of oxygen and nutrients from a “tumor” to “starve” it. Commonly used in cancer treatment, anti-angiogenic drugs are also useful for AMD intervention.
Your eye doctor injects the drug inside your eye, and it prevents the formation of new blood cells. It also blocks the abnormal leaking vessels that cause wet macular degeneration. The drugs are so effective that some people regain their vision.
Note that you may need more than one injection to get the right results. Your eye doctor will likely repeat the treatment during your follow-up appointments.
We mentioned that vitamins are good for boosting your eye health. Your eye doctor may also prescribe them as a treatment for macular degeneration. A typical supplement formula has zinc, vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and copper. Research shows that for some people, the risk of vision loss lessens after taking vitamin supplements. The vitamins work even for people with intermediate and advanced dry AMD.
Laser therapy treatment uses intense laser light to destroy the abnormal blood vessels causing AMD. Once destroyed, the progression of the disease stops or slows down.
This treatment also uses laser light but with a slight difference. It is done in two steps. It involves using a light-sensitive drug to destroy the abnormal blood vessels.
Your eye doctor injects the medication into your bloodstream and waits for it to circulate your body. Once it’s inside the abnormal blood vessels, the doctor shines the laser light into your eye, activating the drug. The abnormal blood vessels collapse, slowing the progression of the disease.
Vision aids are also a welcome alternative to help with deteriorating vision. Vision aids are an option because rarely do people go completely blind, despite it being a possibility. Even in the advanced stage, you still can see some things on the periphery, outside your line of sight.
In most cases, AMD does not incapacitate you completely. You may even be able to run around and do your regular chores. But, you would need some low vision aids. The devices have an electronic system or some special lenses that enlarge the image of nearby objects. With a larger scale, you can see more clearly.
For a select few with dry macular degeneration in both eyes, a surgical solution is available. It involves implanting a telescopic lens inside one eye. The lens itself looks like a small plastic tube with lenses inside it that amplify your field of vision. You may end up with better close-up and distance vision, although your field of view may be narrow. The implant option is beneficial for persons living in urban areas who need to identify street signs well.
Treatment for macular degeneration or AMD improves your vision significantly. But, it helps to have your condition diagnosed early to give you more treatment options. So, schedule eye exams regularly to catch the disease early, especially if you are 60 years and above. For eye exams and treatment of macular degeneration, visit Urban Optics in College Station, Texas. You can also call (979) 690-0888 to request an appointment.