Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of severe vision loss. While there is currently no cure, the progression of the disease can be slowed or reversed in many cases.
At the Medical Eye Center of New Hampshire, we are committed to offering the most advanced treatments for treating AMD.
Dry AMD Treatment
Dry AMD causes slow, progressive vision loss. There are currently no approved medical or surgical treatments to treat dry AMD.
Researchers with the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) concluded that a specific formulation of vitamins and minerals reduced the risk of the progression of the dry form of AMD to the wet (or advanced) form of AMD.
A follow up clinical trial, called AREDS2, showed that removing beta-carotene from the original formulation (which was shown to increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers) and replacing it with lutein and zeaxanthin was safe and effective. AREDS2 supplements are available at most pharmacies.
Lifestyle modification strategies may also have an impact on the progression of dry AMD:
- A healthy diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids
- Weight loss
- Normal blood pressure
- Avoiding smoking
- Protection from UV light when spending time outdoors (wearing sunglasses or a hat)
Clinical trials are being conducted for stem cell-based therapy for dry AMD. While early results are promising, trial numbers are small, and more research is required in order to scientifically prove the effectiveness of the treatment.
Wet AMD Treatment
In wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and leak fluid and blood. The abnormal vessels, called choroidal neovascularization, may also distort the natural contour of the retina.
If diagnosed early enough, an injection in the eye of an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (ant-VEGF) can seal these vessels and slow vision loss or even restore vision.
Lucentis (ranibizumab), Eylea (aflibercept), and Avastin (bevacizumab) are all currently used to treat this disease.
There are numerous ongoing clinical trials assessing newer potential treatment options.
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The most advanced treatment for macular degeneration is available at our offices in Manchester and Bedford, NH.