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  Wet AMD Treatment

Wet age-related macular degeneration

Photodynamic therapy, laser treatment, and injections are the major treatments for wet age-related macular degeneration. Photo dynamic therapy (PDT) is highly effective, if Wet AMD is detected early. Visudyne, a light sensitive dye, is injected into the body. This dye sticks to the lining of the abnormal blood vessels in the retina. The dye is then activated with light and this destroys the abnormal blood vessels. The treatment involves no pain and is usually performed at the doctor’s officer or eye clinic.

The advantage of this treatment is that it does not destroy healthy tissue. Lower back pain is a side effect associated with this treatment. After the treatment, the skin and the eyes should not be exposed to light for five days. This treatment doest not bring back the lost vision or stops vision loss. It only slows the rate of progress of wet AMD. The effect of photodynamic is temporary and should be repeated.

Laser treatment, also known as laser photocoagulation, is used to seal the leaking of the abnormal blood vessels and to stop their further growth. This treatment is found to be effective in 15% of the patients. In this treatment high energy light is passed on to the abnormal blood vessels. This treatment is usually performed at an eye clinic or at the doctor’s office.

Side effects include loss of some vision and damage to healthy tissue. Laser photocoagulation treatment does not provide a complete cure and the blood vessels can grow again in a later stage.

Injections into the eye are a new form of treatment. The drug used is Macugen, which was approved in the United States in December 2004. The drug hampers the growth of abnormal blood vessels. The injection need to be administered every six weeks. Like other treatments, macugen only slows the progress of age-related macular degeneration.

Several new treatments are in the experimental stage and some of them have got approval. Several angiostatic therapies and combination therapies are in clinical trial and it is expected that a breakthrough in the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration will be achieved soon. Individuals can take part in these clinical trials after going through the necessary formalities.

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