As there are different stages of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), there are also different levels of care and treatment that go along with those stages.
Within the early stages of AMD, there are no treatment options available. Many people will often show no symptoms or signs of vision loss during this stage, which can make it quite difficult to really track your condition. However, one way to do so it to get an inclusive dilated exam at least once a year.
In Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS), researchers have found that taking nutritional supplements during the intermediate stage of AMD may help delay the start of late AMD, and taking nutritional supplements during late AMD may aid in slowing down vision loss. Combining Vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper can lessen the risk of late AMD by 25 percent. There are factors to consider when taking AREDS supplements, making it important to first consult with your doctor to see if it is the right fit for you.
Severe vision loss usually takes place during the neovascular stage. There are several therapies doctors may try during this stage to help slow down the progression of this stage and vision loss.
- Injections: Injecting anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs into the eyes will help to block this protein that stimulates the growth of abnormal blood vessels. Multiple monthly injections may be needed to really make a difference.
- Photodynamic Therapy: This procedure is less common than anti-VEGF injections but is sometimes combined with them. This technique involves laser treatment of select areas of the retina to close off new, growing blood vessels to slow the rate of vision loss.
- Laser Surgery: When blood vessel growth is limited to a compact area in the eye, this “hot” laser is aimed to destroy these blood vessels.
Your doctor can guide you to find the best solution for your level of AMD.