Macular Degeneration Diagnosis and Treatment
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a chronic condition that causes central vision loss. It affects millions of Americans. In fact, it is a leading cause of blindness in people 60 and older. The older you are, the greater your chance of being affected. That’s why it’s important to learn the symptoms of AMD now, so if you ever notice anything wrong, you can see an ophthalmologist right away.Early detection is key to avoiding vision loss.
LEARN THE SYMPTOMS SO YOU KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR
AMD symptoms include blurriness, wavy lines, or a blind spot.
You may also notice visual distortions such as:
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. If you are diagnosed with wet AMD, it is important to see a Retina Specialist for the most appropriate care.
AMD occurs when the macula—the central portion of the retina that is important for reading and color vision—becomes damaged. AMD is a single disease, but it can take 2 different forms: dry and wet.
Wet AMD is the more serious form, with more than 200,000 people in the United States diagnosed every year. Without treatment, patients can lose their central vision over time, leaving only peripheral, or side, vision. The symptoms can occur suddenly or gradually over time.
Early detection and treatment can help you avoid severe vision loss.
How is Wet AMD treated?
Wet AMD can be treated with laser surgery and injections into the eye. None of these treatments is a cure for wet AMD. The disease and loss of vision may progress despite treatment.
Treating the wet form of macular degeneration with Avastin provides hope for the more than 10million Americans suffering from the incurable eye disease, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. Known for its cancer-fighting abilities, Avastin retards the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the rear portion of the eye.
How Avastin Treats Macular Degeneration
Inhibiting the growth of blood vessels in the retina is the main purpose of Avastin, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. Leaking blood vessels in the retina cause vision loss, or blurred spots, for wet macular degeneration patients. Administering Avastin through an IV drip works to reduce the growth of these cells. Given as an off-label drug, Avastin had not been FDA-approved for the treatment of macular degeneration. Used primarily for the treatment of cancer, Avastin has not been tested for ophthalmic uses.
When to Use Avastin for Macular Degeneration
Used within the first six to 12 months of onset, patients with macular degeneration may see a slowing in the process of the eye disease. Avastin is not a cure, simply a treatment, to slow the growth of blood cells. Avastin is a name brand formula of bevacizumab manufactured by Cerner Multum, Inc.
Warnings Regarding Avastin
Starting Avastin as a treatment of macular degeneration should be carefully considered. Wait at least four weeks, or until the incision is completely healed, from any type of surgery before beginning this regime. Known to cause increased bleeding and infection, Avastin may delay post-operative healing.
About LUCENTIS®(ranibizumab injection)
LUCENTIS is an FDA-approved treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). LUCENTIS is an injection given into the eye. Before you get your LUCENTIS injection, your eye will be prepped—or cleaned thoroughly—to help you avoid eye infections. Then your retina specialist will numb your eye to limitany discomfort you might feel. Many people who get injections for wet AMD feel some pressure on their eye. Most of the time this pressure is all you will feel. After your retina specialist gives you the injection, the pressure should go away.
Who is LUCENTIS for?
How is Dry AMD treated?
Once dry AMD reaches the advanced stage, no form of treatment can prevent vision loss. However, treatment can delay and possibly prevent intermediate AMD from progressing to the advanced stage, in which vision loss occurs.
The National Eye Institute’s Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that taking a specific high-dose formulation of antioxidants and zinc significantly reduces the risk of advanced AMD and its associated vision loss. Slowing AMD’s progression from the intermediate stage to the advanced stage will save the vision of many people.