Macular Degeneration Treatments

Macular Degeneration Treatments

Early detection and treatment are key to good results of any therapy for wet macular degeneration. All these treatments work better if applied early in an episode of bleeding. Fortunately, there are several treatment options for people with wet macular degeneration. The purpose of these treatments is sealing off the leaking blood vessels and/or preventing the blood vessels from growing back. Repeated treatments are necessary, as often as once a month, but doctors are now finding that treatments can be spaced further apart and still be effective. Because each eye is different, Dr. Cartwright will watch carefully how you respond and will recommend what works best for you. With multiple treatment options available, Dr. Cartwright can advise which therapy will probably be best for your case. After reviewing the photographs taken after treatment, Dr. Cartwright will decide whether continuing that treatment is the best choice.

The goal of current treatments is to stop or slow the progression of Wet AMD. While it is possible to restore some vision in patients treated early, none of the therapies can restore vision in an eye.

Macular Degeneration Treatment Overview
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Wet AMD Treatment Options


  • Lucentis is considered the “gold standard” in a group of anti-angiogenic drugs. It acts against the growth of the new blood vessels of wet or exudative macular degeneration. Nearly all patients (95 percent) treated with LUCENTIS maintained their vision in the Phase III clinical trials.
  • Avastin was originally developed to treat colon cancer. It uses the same antiangiogenic approach to stop the growth of blood vessels to the cancer tumor. Because it was available before Lucentis was approved, some eye doctors began to use smaller quantities of it in the eye. It has shown some good results and is significantly cheaper than Lucentis or Macugen. Use of Avastin for wet macular degeneration has become very common.
  • EYLEA injected every other month was shown to be comparable to Lucentis, when injected monthly. Side effects were similar to other injected drugs, most commonly discomfort and redness at the site of the injection. An increase in intraocular pressure was seen, so retinal specialists are cautioned to monitor patients for this issue. This side effect is seen with Lucentis and Avastin as well and most are temporary.

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