If age-related macular degeneration is indicated, treatments provided by expert ophthalmologists must be initiated as soon as possible in order to slow disease progression and reduce risks of vision loss. However, there are currently no documented cures for age-related macular degeneration. Recommendations include:
- Prevention: Avoid risk factors e.g. smoke cessation, maintaining healthy weight and keeping blood pressure under control.
- Treatment of dry AMD: To treat dry AMD, antioxidants and mineral supplements can help delay disease progression. Based on the results of clinical trials, AREDS and AREDS2, certain antioxidants and supplements reduce the risks to develop geographic atrophy which is an advanced stage of disease up to 25% and they can also lower the risks of central vision loss 19%.
- Treatment of wet AMD: Currently, the most effective treatment is certain medications that help inhibit the growth of new blood vessels by blocking the effects of growth signals that the body sends to generate new blood vessels. These drugs are widely used and considered the first line treatment for all stages of wet macular degeneration. Administered via ocular injection, two groups of these medicines are:
- Anti–Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor or anti-VEGF e.g. Bevacizumab and Ranibizumab
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Trap or VEGF-Trap e.g. Aflibercept
- Other treatment option for wet AMD: Other options might include photodynamic therapy and laser photocoagulation. Photodynamic therapy uses certain drug to stop the leakage of blood vessel, resulting in improved vision and reduced the rate of vision loss. While laser photocoagulation uses a high-energy laser beam to seal abnormal blood vessels under the macula. However, select treatments are determined by expert ophthalmologists which might vary among individual patients, depending primarily on patient’s conditions and disease
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