When confronted with a diagnosis of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), it's natural to wonder what you should do.  Here are some treatment options for both Dry and Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration.

Dry AMD Treatments

Nutrition Supplements

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) showed that people at high risk of developing advanced stages of AMD benefited from taking dietary supplements. Supplements lowered the risk of macular degeneration progression by 25 percent. These supplements did not benefit people with early AMD or people without AMD.

Following is the supplementation:

  • Vitamin C - 500 mg
  • Vitamin E - 400 IU
  • Lutein – 10 mg
  • Zeaxanthin – 2 mg
  • Zinc Oxide – 80 mg
  • Copper – 2 mg (to prevent copper deficiency that may be associated with taking high amount of zinc)

Another study showed a benefit in eating dark leafy greens and yellow, orange and other fruits and vegetables. These vitamins and minerals listed above are recommended in addition to a healthy, balanced diet.

It is important to remember that vitamin supplements are not a cure for AMD, nor will they restore vision. However, these supplements may help some people maintain their vision or slow the progression of the disease.

Wet AMD Treatments

Injection of Anti-VEGF

The most common treatment for wet AMD is an eye injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF). This treatment blocks the growth of abnormal blood vessels, slows their leakage of fluid, potentially helps slow vision loss, and in some cases, improves vision. There are multiple anti-VEGF drugs available: Avastin, Lucentis, and Eylea.

You may need monthly injections for a prolonged period of time for treatment of wet AMD.

Laser Treatment for Wet AMD

Some cases of wet AMD may benefit from thermal laser. This laser destroys the abnormal blood vessels in the eye to prevent leakage and bleeding in the retina. A scar forms where the laser is applied and may cause a blind spot that might be noticeable in your field of vision.

Photodynamic Therapy or PDT

Some patients with wet AMD might benefit from photodynamic therapy (PDT). A medication called Visudyne is injected into your arm and the drug is activated as it passes through the retina by shining a low-energy laser beam into your eye. Once the drug is activated by the light it produces a chemical reaction that destroys abnormal blood vessels in the retina. Sometimes a combination of laser treatments and injections of anti-VEGF mediations are employed to treat wet AMD.

 

Article contributed by Jane Pan M.D.

This blog provides general information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician. The content of this blog cannot be reproduced or duplicated without the express written consent of Eye IQ.

Transition lenses in eyeglasses have been around for many years now. The mechanics behind transition lenses is that certain chemicals in the lens interact with UV light from the sun and turn the lenses dark when you go outside and back to clear when you go inside.

This is a great accompaniment to sunglasses, as it is not always convenient to be carrying around multiple pairs of glasses with you, especially when going from inside to outside frequently. However, there are some drawbacks to transitions, including the fact that they don’t get as dark as sunglasses, have some difficulty turning dark in the car, and have a tendency to keep a slight constant tint even in dark conditions.

Vistakon, the optical wing of Johnson & Johnson, came out with the first transition contact lens a few years ago.  They work well for some people, and don't seem to do a lot for others.

Just a couple personal thoughts: It can look a little strange, depending on the person and the eye color. The material itself turns gray, and therefore the person can be walking around with eyes that look darker than normal. On the plus side, though, this would be good for people limited by high prescriptions and who have difficulty with peripheral vision and glasses, yet still want the transitioning technology. On the other hand, wearing clear contact lenses with sunglasses would provide better sun coverage with the ability to remove the sunglasses when desired.

An area where transition contacts might become very useful is in outdoor sports.  For any athlete who is playing an outdoor sport where the lighting conditions may change from day to day or even within a single game or event, these contacts might significantly improve the ability to perform. This is especially true in any sport where there may be significant contact or rapid head movement that can make it difficult to compete in sunglasses.  

While still in its infancy, transitioning contact lenses look to be a promising technology.

Article contributed by Dr. Jonathan Gerard

Latest News