Early detection is necessary for early diagnosis and treatment, to increase the chances of improving vision.The types of treatment available for AMD:
- Laser photocoagulation (a procedure done where thermal laser is applied)
- Photodynamic therapy with Verteporfin (a non-thermal laser procedure applied to activate an intravenous drug to close the abnormal blood vessels)
- Intravitreal drugs (injected directly into the eye) e.g. anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) (Lucentis®, Eylea®, Avastin®)
- Surgical intervention to displace blood (released by abnormal new vessels) under the macula using an injection of tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) and gas, or vitrectomy (removal of fluid (vitreous) from the eye)
High risk patients are offered antioxidant supplements containing vitamins C, E, Zinc, Copper, Zeaxanthin and Lutein to prevent progression of dry to wet AMD.
It is also advisable to stop smoking, because smoking has been identified as a risk factor for AMD. In the advanced form of the disease, low vision aids such as mini telescopes and magnifying glasses may help some patients.
Anyone who develops blurring of central vision should visit a retinal specialist (an eye doctor specialized 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 the findings of the examination and investigations. Your retinal specialist will be the best person to explain the problem and your treatment options.