More than 200,000 Americans are diagnosed with macular degeneration each year, and many of these men and women are over the age of 40. This eye disease causes central vision loss and comes in two forms: wet and dry. Wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most aggressive, which can cause complete vision loss within the span of weeks or months.
There’s currently no cure for macular degeneration, but there are treatments available that can prevent further vision loss or slow its progression. Some of the available AMD treatments include:
- Vitamins and Supplements. Our eye doctors will decide on the right treatment plan for you during your initial eye exam, but the typical treatment for AMD involves vitamins and dietary supplements (AREDS2 vitamins) to stimulate normal blood vessel growth and development.
- Medications. There are a few medications that are FDA-approved to treat AMD including Lucentis, Macugen and Eylea. These medications are injected into the eye at varying intervals to inhibit the growth of abnormal blood vessels by stopping the production of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein.
- Laser Treatments. Laser eye surgery can be done in severe cases of wet AMD. This treatment is called Laser Photocoagulation and closes new blood vessels to stop further leakage.
- Visudyne Drug Treatment. This is a relatively new treatment for those with wet AMD with abnormal blood vessel growth under the retina in a distinct pattern. Visudyne is injected into the arm and activated by a laser beam with low energy directed into the eye. One study found that one in six participants saw improved vision.
Macular degeneration can lead to blindness, especially in those with the wet form of the eye disease. Treatment is vital to saving your vision.
If you’ve been diagnosed with macular degeneration or are experiencing blurred vision, please call our eye doctors in Loveland as soon as possible at 970-669-1107to schedule your eye exam. The Kirk Eye Center serves patients throughout Colorado including Longmont, Fort Collins, Windsor and Loveland.