Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a problem with your retina. It happens when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. With AMD you lose your central vision. You cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far. But your peripheral (side) vision will still be normal.
Two Types of Macular Degeneration
This form is quite common. About 80% (8 out of 10) people who have AMD have the dry form. Dry AMD is when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen grow. You slowly lose central vision. There is no way to treat dry AMD yet.
This form is less common but much more serious. Wet AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. You lose vision faster with wet AMD than with dry AMD.
Treatment for Macular Degeneration
There is no specific treatment for Dry Macular Degeneration.
Vitamins are often used to reduce the risk of progression of Dry Macular Degeneration to more severe forms of Dry Macular Degeneration or to Wet Macular Degeneration.
These vitamins are called AREDS 2 Vitamins and consist of:
- Vitamin C (500 mg)
- Vitamin E (400 IU)
- Lutein (10 mg)
- Zeaxanthin (2 mg)
- Zinc (80 mg)
- Copper (2 mg)
To help treat wet AMD, there are medications called anti-VEGF drugs. Anti-VEGF treatment helps reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels in your retina. It also slows any leaking from blood vessels. This medicine is delivered to your eye through a very slender needle. The following medications are often used.
Although these medications are effective at treating Wet AMD, most people will need repeated injections to maintain the effectiveness of these treatments.