If you have been diagnosed with wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), treatment is usually necessary as the condition may worsen over the next few weeks. It may lead to irreversible vision loss.
While treatment can stabilise vision, the degree of improvement will depend on how early the disease is detected and response to treatment.
Currently, the most common treatment is in the form of drugs injected into the eye. Avastin*, Lucentis and Eylea are some drugs used to treat wet AMD as they block the growth of abnormal blood vessels. The injection can be performed safely after the eye has been anaesthetised with eye drops. You will experience some mild discomfort after the injection. *Avastin is accepted by all public hospitals and institutions for treatment of AMD.
However, the effect of each injection would usually last for one month and a long course of repeated injections is required to adequately control the condition. Clinical studies have suggested that at least 12 to 14 injections will be required over a two-year period to control the disease. During this time, your eye condition should be reviewed frequently as response can vary between individuals. Your ophthalmologist will also need to repeat the OCT scan at most visits, and the angiogram periodically to assess your response.
Illustration: Intravitreal Injections
of Anti-VEGF Agents
In some selected cases, other forms of treatment, with or without injections may also be recommended by your ophthalmologist. Photodynamic therapy uses a non-thermal laser together with an intravenous drug (verteporfin) to reduce leakage and seal up abnormal blood vessels. Laser photocoagulation uses a hot laser to destroy the abnormal blood vessels.
For dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), there is currently no known treatment, but supplements may help slow down the progression in high-risk eyes. Early detection of conversion to the wet type is also important for better preservation of vision.
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