If the AMD is detected late in its progression, such as when severe scarring at the macula has already developed, vision is unlikely to recover.
Management of the disease is then aimed at preventing further deterioration, as well as early detection and treatment of a similar disease in the other eye. In the advanced form of the disease, low vision aids such as mini-telescopes and magnifying glasses may help some patients.
If AMD is detected early, there are better chances for treatment and there is a greater likelihood of improving vision or slowing the deterioration, depending on the form of the disease.
The types of treatment available forAMD include:
- Observation with regular check-ups for mild and non-progressive forms of the disease.
- Destruction of the abnormal new vessels in wet AMD using:
- direct laser ablation
- transpupillary thermotherapy (TTT)
- photodynamic therapy (PDT
- Injections inside or around the eye can be used to reverse the development of abnormal new vessels and control inflammation. The type of medications used include:
- Anti-angiogenesis drugs (Macugen, Lucentis, Avastin)
- Steroids (Anecortave, Triamcinolone Acetonide)
- Surgery can be performed to clear the blood from under the macula using an injection of a drug (tissue plasminogen activator) and gas into the eye to move the blood away from the macula.
- Nutritional supplements containing selenium, zinc, Vitamin A, C and E may help patients at risk of AMD.
However, such supplements in high doses can have side effects and you should consult your doctor before beginning long-term supplement taking.
What should I do if I think I have macular degeneration?
Anyone who develops blurring of central vision should be examined by a retinal specialist (an eye doctor specialised in retinal diseases) as soon as possible. Tests may be required to help in diagnosis and assessment of the condition. Treatment will be based on findings of the examination and investigations. Your retinal specialist will be the best person to explain the problem and the treatment options.