Treatment Options For Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

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6 3 月, 2023

Is this what you see? Just an unpleasant dark spot in the centre of your vision? Your peripheral vision seems good but the middle of your vision appears to be blinded or blurred. If so, you might suffer from a typical age-related eye condition called macular degeneration. 

Macular degeneration, sometimes referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a common condition that affects the eyes. It is brought on by the macula (which is responsible for clear vision in your direct line of sight), a small spot in the centre of the retina at the rear of the eye, deteriorating.

Worry not as eye specialists around the world have transformed into unsung heroes by thoroughly examining macular degeneration and identifying treatments that could help you slow down your possible condition!

Why Is There A Dark Spot In The Centre Of My Vision? (Types of AMD)

Macular degeneration causes central vision loss. When you’re looking straight ahead, your central vision is what you see in front of you, whereas your peripheral vision is what you see on the sides. Since macular degeneration mainly affects your central vision, it does not lead to complete blindness. Apparently, macular degeneration is split into two main varieties, dry and wet macular degeneration. 

 

Dry Macular Degeneration

Between 85 and 90 percent of dry macular degeneration patients experience symptoms. It happens because drusen (tiny yellow deposits) form beneath the macula.

 

Wet Macular Degeneration

The remaining 10 to 15 percent are affected by wet macular degeneration, which unfortunately appears to be more critical than dry macular degeneration. It happens when unnatural blood vessels grow beneath the macula and retina causing rapid, progressive central vision loss.

Do I Really Have Macular Degeneration? (Symptoms of AMD)

Because macular degeneration is a degenerative condition, it will deteriorate with time. Some people simply experience a slight loss of central vision, however, in others, it may be more severe. Ergo, early detection and self-care methods may slow macular degeneration-related vision loss. 

Dry Macular Degeneration

Signs of dry macular degeneration typically appear gradually and painlessly. You may experience:

  • a reduction in central vision
  • distortion of straight lines in your field of vision
  • the need for brighter lighting
  • difficulty adapting to low lights
  • blurriness
  • trouble recognizing faces
  • retinal damage

Visual abnormalities and decreased central vision are two signs of wet macular degeneration that are similar to those of dry macular degeneration.

Wet Macular Degeneration

As mentioned, the wet kind is more likely to result in a big setback of eyesight due to a change in vision that happens drastically. Symptoms of wet macular degeneration may include:

  • a blurry spot in your field of vision
  • a dark spot in the center of your vision due to blood vessels bleeding or leaking fluid
  • hazy vision
  • rapidly worsening symptoms

Be mindful that wet macular degeneration develops more rapidly than dry macular degeneration.

Does The Black Spot Disappear? (Treatments of AMD)

Presently, macular degeneration doesn’t have a cure, but your doctor can suggest ways to help stop or delay the progression.

Treatment for Wet MD

Although anti-VEGF drugs have been quite successful in reducing the visual loss caused by wet AMD, researchers are still looking for effective treatments that are less invasive than getting frequent injections into the eyes.

Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs

To block the development of new blood vessels, your doctor may potentially inject a drug right into your eye. These drugs are classified as anti-VEGF (anti-vascular endothelial growth factor) therapies. Ranibizumab (Lucentis) and aflibercept (Eylea) are two of them. It can take several weeks of treatment before you notice a difference.

Radiation therapy

Radiation can restrict specific cell types. The effectiveness of anti-VEGF injections has reduced the need for radiation therapy in the treatment of wet AMD. The two approaches, though, might complement one another. 

Furthermore, radiation takes longer to start working but has effects that endure longer than anti-VEGF injections, which need to be repeated. If combining radiation therapy with anti-VEGF therapy will enhance treatment outcomes, more investigation is required.

Eyedrops

Anti-VEGF eye drops administered at home would be a more pleasant and practical alternative to getting injections at the doctor’s office.  

Based on published research, in the eyes of mice, rats, and pigs, anti-VEGF drugs were given as eye drops together with cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) and were as effective as an anti-VEGF injection. Currently, similar eye drops for human usage are now being developed through research.

Low vision rehabilitation. 

Since macular degeneration seldom results in complete blindness and doesn’t damage your peripheral vision, it can however take away your central vision, which is essential for seeing faces, reading, and driving. 

You might find it helpful to work with an occupational therapist, an expert in low-vision rehabilitation, your eye doctor, and others. They can assist you in figuring out how to adjust to your shifting eyesight.

Treatment for Dry MD

Your doctor may also advise working with a low-vision rehabilitation specialist if you have dry macular degeneration. You might be prescribed eye vitamins in the AREDS 2 formulation to help ease your situation.

They could also suggest surgery to help with vision correction. Your eye will receive a telescopic lens implanted during the procedure to replace the natural lens. This enlarges the area of vision and patients must meet a number of very severe requirements in order to be eligible for such surgery.

The Final Say 

It may seem like your vision is slipping away, but there is help! At VISTA Eye Clinic, our goal is to make sure that you have the most effective and affordable care available. We offer a full range of services for macular degeneration including treatment options and prescription eyeglasses that can help support your independence. With our experience, professional service, and low cost, there is no reason to put off this important appointment any longer!

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