Macular Degeneration Treatment
Can macular degeneration be treated?
Sometimes. If there is fluid or blood present, i.e., the wet variety, there may be a role for injections of medication into the eye to try to get the blood vessel that is responsible for the leakage to stop growing, or even go away.
What do you inject?
A medication known as Anti-Vasogenic Endothelial Growth Factor (anti-VEGF) is injected into the eye through the sclera (the white part) to deliver it into the back of the eye. This is done monthly until the fluid and associated blood vessels regress. The treatments are then continued based on the advice of the ophthalmologist and the needs of the person.
Is it painful?
While it is an injection, it is not usually painful. There is certainly some pressure and the person will often see black dots in the eye for the next day due to tiny air bubbles that get trapped in the syringe. Occasionally, there may be a red spot where the needle is inserted due to local bleeding.
What are the restrictions after the injection?
As long as the patient sees and feels well, there are no specific restrictions.
Are there alternative treatments?
Before the injections were available, laser photocoagulation was the way this was treated. While there may still be some limited application for laser, injections have become the standard of care.