Macular degeneration treatments which are popular today in modern medicine give us hope that humanity eventually will cope with this vision disease. We have different methods for different stages of the disease. We divide treatments depending on the stage of the macular degeneration level so you will see what you need quickly.
What are macular degeneration treatments in an early stage?
This might not surprise you but like most diseases, reports in AsiaRetina, macular degeneration treatment could be linked to diet and healthy life. If you are eating healthy then your disease might not get worse with time. Nutritional therapy excludes trans fats, too much sugar, too much caffeine, too many carbs and alcohol. Patients should eat more veggies and proteins. Exercising is another thing patients can do to feel better because healthy eating and exercising are the best cures in the early stage. In addition, macula needs antioxidants so supplements and vitamins could also be a good choice.
What are macular degeneration treatments in a wet stage?
Wet stage is actually leaking blood vessels. Form the middle of XX century, laser treatment was used to cope with this condition. Laser Photocoagulation manages to seal blood vessels and stop the disease. Thanks to laser treatment, many patients preserve their vision untouched.
A second popular treatment, which came, was Photodynamic Therapy. It combines an injection with laser therapy. The special drug is injected into the arm and thanks to blood flow it reaches the blood vessels into the macula. Laser beam activates the drug and destroys leaking blood vessels. This method is able to target only bad blood vessels without pain and heat because the laser beam is non-thermal. However, patients, who choose this macula degeneration treatment have to know, informs Asiaretina, that this drug is helping but not healing – it can’t restore nerves that have been already non-functional.
Laser treatment has some disadvantages and risks
People have to know that laser treatment is not as harmless as it seems. For example, not all leaking vessels can be targeted – only 15% are suitable for closing with the laser beam. If the treatment is successful from the first time then the patient has to be monitored carefully next 2 years because chances for reappearing of the disease are huge – around 50%. The last thing patients should realize is that no matter one leak is healed with the laser it might proceed to leak beneath the centre.
After laser treatment follows vision loss but it is less than the vision loss which follows if the macular degeneration is left unthreatened. The last great risk is while the laser is closing the blood vessels to damage the macula slightly.
As you may see, laser treatment is dangerous so specialists constantly are looking for new methods which are more gentle and with fewer risks.
What is Anti-VEGF Therapy?
Healthy people have VEGF molecule and it has its own purpose – to help blood vessels to grow. If the patient has macular degeneration then VEGF stimulates the growth of blood vessels in the retina which is extremely dangerous for the vision. Macular cells die this way so anti-VEGF therapy stops the action of the VEGF molecule. The treatment includes an injection but it might not be enough. The treatment is successful so people expect good results even after the first injection. Usually, the doctor injects anaesthesia so the injection with the treatment is painless.
Anti-VEGF Therapy has some disadvantages and risks
Some data proves that anti-VEGF treatment affects vascular function. However, the data is contradictory because patients usually are elder people who already have troubles with vascular function. Another thing people should have in mind is that the injection might cause light sensitivity and eye pressure. In very rare cases, it might cause retinal detachment or vitreous floaters.
Although all treatments have risks, they are in help and preserve what is left from the vision. Macular Degeneration is dangerous but it could be avoided with enough antioxidants and healthy diet.