What curative treatments currently exist for AMD?
A retinal condition that alters central vision in over 50s, age-related macular degeneration or AMD is the primary cause of visual impairment in older people in Western countries. While the dry form of AMD cannot be treated, today there exist several treatments for wet AMD.
The different clinical forms of AMD
AMD presents under different clinical forms: dry AMD and wet AMD. The two both affect the macula, the central part of the retina.
Possible treatments for wet AMD
Several possible treatments exist for wet AMD. In the majority of cases, these treatments stop the progression of the disease, and, sometimes, cause symptoms to regress.
Intravitreal injections are delivered directly into the eye. They enable anti-VEGF drugs, like ranibizumab or aflibercept to be administered.
To be most effective, injections must be given at the earliest possible stage in the development of the disease.
Surgical laser treatment can be used with the aim of destroying the new blood vessels and reducing risks of hemorrhage in the macula. While this technique doesn’t improve the patient’s vision, it can slow the effects of the disease.
An alternative to intravitreal injections, dynamic phototherapy is advised in cases of contraindication to anti-VEGF drugs. The intervention involves an intravitreal injection of verteporfin, a substance that enables the destruction of the blood vessels under the effect of light.
Over the past fifteen years, AMD treatment protocols have vastly progressed, offering better prospects for patients.