Treatment - Macular Degeneration

Age related macular degeneration is a medical condition which usually affects older adults that results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in “dry” and “wet” forms. It is a major cause of visual impairment in older adults (>50 years). Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.

Laser treatment may stop or lessen vision loss in early stages of the disease. It is performed with a specific wavelength designed to cauterize the abnormal blood vessels. Argon and krypton lasers are most commonly used for treating macular degeneration.A light-activated drug called verteporfin (Visudyne) is given intravenously, and a specially designed laser is used to close the abnormal vessels while leaving the retina intact it is recommended that all patients with macular degeneration receive antioxidant supplements.A variety of drugs that block vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are being evaluated as a treatment option. Bevacizumab  is a drug that blocks angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels. Bevacizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A).

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