Treatment for Wet Macular Degeneration
When considering options for wet macular degeneration treatment, your choices include photodynamic therapy, laser surgery, and injections. Each one can help slow down the loss of vision, but vision already lost cannot be restored, and there is no cure. Your eye doctor can help you decide which treatment for this condition is right for you.
An Overview of Treatment for Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet macular degeneration can be treated with:
While each of these options may slow the rate of vision decline or stop further vision loss, the disease will progress and vision loss will continue. Unfortunately, there is no cure for wet macular degeneration.
Your doctor can describe your treatment options and the expected results of each. The two of you can work together to develop a plan that meets your medical needs and personal values. Choosing the most appropriate treatment for wet macular degeneration is a decision that ideally involves both you and your healthcare team.
This treatment uses a drug (verteporfin) that is injected into your arm. It travels throughout the body, including the new blood vessels in your eye. The drug tends to "stick" to the surface of new blood vessels. Next, a light is shined into your eye for about 90 seconds, which activates the drug. The activated drug destroys the new blood vessels and leads to a slower rate of vision decline.
Unlike laser surgery, this drug does not destroy surrounding healthy tissue.
Because the drug is activated by light, you must avoid exposing your skin or eyes to direct sunlight or bright indoor light for five days after this wet macular degeneration treatment.
Photodynamic therapy is relatively painless. It takes about 20 minutes, and can be performed in a doctor's office. The procedure can slow the rate of vision loss, but it does not stop vision loss or restore vision in eyes already damaged by advanced macular degeneration. What's more, treatment results often are temporary, and you may need to be treated again.