Macular Degeneration (AMD) Treatment

Macular degeneration usually affects people over 60 years of age, and occurs when the macula (the sharp focusing area at the back of your eye) begins to break down and stop working. The result is a gradual loss of the central, ‘sharp’ vision that you use for seeing detail, so things like reading, driving and recognising faces become more difficult.

Dry AMD is the most common form of macular degeneration, but another form called Wet AMD is much more aggressive and sight-threatening.

If your vision worsens it’s easy to assume you just need a stronger pair of glasses. But if you notice straight lines appearing bent or wavy (for example, when you look at a page of small print, a window frame or telegraph pole), this could be a sign of Wet AMD, and you should make an appointment with an eye specialist immediately.

Learn more about AMD.
 

 

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Treatments

For both Wet and Dry AMD, there are some medications and lifestyle changes that may help prevent the condition worsening, or even occurring in the first place.
 

Vitamin supplements

Over the last decade, studies (particularly the AREDS and AREDS 2 trials) have found that certain combinations of vitamins could reduce the chances of macular degeneration worsening by around a third, although not everyone agrees that it helps that much and it may not help everyone. Eye Institute recommends taking the following medication:

Macu-Vision twice a day, together with either Lutein Vision Advanced twice a day or Lutein Vision Defence once a day. These are available from most pharmacies and do not require a prescription. It may be better to take the Lutein Vision Advanced rather than the Lutein Defence because it also contains omega three fatty acids, although whether these help in macular degeneration is disputed.
 

Stopping smoking

Smokers are more at risk of macular degeneration, and particularly Wet AMD, so it’s important to stop smoking, especially if you have been diagnosed with AMD.
 

Dietary changes

Eating more nuts and fish oils may help prevent AMD.
 

Wet AMD treatments

If you’re diagnosed with Wet AMD, you must be treated quickly to avoid permanent damage to your sight. The macular degeneration experts at Eye Institute use the most advanced medications and treatments for Wet AMD, including:
 

Wet AMD medication

The drugs Lucentis and Avastin have been shown to improve vision in people with Wet AMD, while other treatments only slow down vision loss. They are injected into the eye (which is less painful than it sounds), and may need to be repeated over several months.
 

Thermal laser treatment for Wet AMD

In a procedure called photocoagulation, heat from a laser can be used to seal off the abnormal leaky blood vessels that characterise Wet AMD. However, some damage to healthy tissue is also likely.
 

Non-thermal laser treatment for Wet AMD

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses a light-activated drug and non-thermal laser to selectively destroy abnormal blood vessels, while preserving normal healthy tissue, but it usually doesn't work as well as injections..

The macular degeneration specialists at Eye Institute have treated many cases of both Dry AMD and Wet AMD
 


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