When you head to the eye doctor to have a standard eye exam or even because you have been having difficulty with your vision, you likely do not expect to be told that you are suffering from age-related macular degeneration. However, if this is the case, then your next step is to determine what the treatment options are for this eye disorder that causes progressive vision loss. Once you know more about some of the treatment options that are available to you, you can get started as soon as possible to slow the progress of your macular degeneration and keep your vision intact for as long as possible.
One of the treatment options for macular degeneration, particularly what is known as wet macular degeneration is a form of laser treatment known as laser photocoagulation. This treatment option involves your eye doctor using concentrated light energy (the laser) beamed directly into the eye.
The purpose of this laser is to target the tiny blood vessels in the eye and cauterize them. This means that thermal energy is applied to those blood vessels to force them to close themselves off. The purpose of this is to slow the progress of macular degeneration and to also slow the loss of vision by preventing the blood vessels in the eye from leaking and causing the cells to deteriorate.
Another laser treatment for macular degeneration involves having a medication injected into the arm first. Then, the doctor will use a non-thermal laser that is aimed directly at the eye to activate the components in that injected medication once it reaches the eye. The goal of this treatment is similar in that the medication in the blood vessels will cause a chemical reaction that will close off and destroy abnormal blood vessels that could potentially leak causing further vision disturbances and loss.
Other Regular Injected Medications
In addition to laser treatments for macular degeneration, there are also treatments that use regular or periodic injections to treat the disorder. The medications in these injections actually go straight into the tissue of the eye rather than being injected into the arm.
These drugs are designed to chemically react inside the body and prevent the creation of and the actions of a protein known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This protein stimulates new blood vessels to grow inside the body. Because the tissues in the eye when you have macular degeneration can grow abnormally causing vision loss and disturbances, new blood vessel formation in the eye can make the condition worse.
Now that you know a few of the treatment options available to you for your macular degeneration, you can work with your eye doctor to slow the progress of this eye disorder and ensure that you preserve your vision for as long as possible.