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Home Eye Tests Glasses Eyesight Problems Eye Diseases Contact Lenses FAQs


Macular Degeneration Treatment  

Is it possible to treat Macular Degeneration?

Unfortunately there is no present treatment for clearing dry macular degeneration but research is ongoing. Promising results with nutrition and supplements has been found. Reducing risk factors may help like not smoking,blood pressure and weight.

There are injections available for wet macular degeneration that may reduce the severity of the disease but not get rid of it.

Low vision aids, good near lighting,reading glasses from optician and nutrition may help in both dry and wet type.

Nutrition and Macular Degeneration

A large research trial, called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS in 2001) , showed that high quantities of the antioxidant, vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene and minerals (zinc oxide and copper) can help to slow down the progression of macular disease.

Macula contains carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are pigments that help to protect against light damage. Some nutritional supplements aim to provide these two in high doses.

Other research of supplements has shown mixed results and so I used to advice a balanced diet. However recent research has been more promising as another carotenoid is present in the macular called meso-zeaxanthin. The only supplement called Macushield  contains meso-zeaxanthin,lutein and zeaxanthin. It has been shown that adding meso-zeaxanthin gives a dramatic improvement of the macular pigmentation that protects against macular degeneration and may even improve vision. Macushield is recommended by many opticians on the high street.

Click for more information about Macushield and meso-zeaxanthin

Many people in the UK do not achieve recommended levels of vitamins and minerals from  their daily meals. Supplements may be useful. Consult your Doctor if you have health problems.

It may be worth trying eye supplements if have eye disease or family history of macular degeneration.



Treatment for Wet Macular Degeneration

In UK NHS,  the drug Lucentis is used to prevent wet macular degeneration from getting worse. The treatments reduce the growth of abnormal new blood vessels under the retina.

The abnormal new blood vessels in Wet ARMD produce a chemical called VEGF which stands for vascular endothelial growth factor.

The VEGF in turns produces more new abnormal blood vessels and so thats why wet macular degeneration progresses faster.

Lucentis is an anti- VEGF and aims to interfere with VEGF and reduces growth of new blood vessels and subsequent leakage. Lucentis has a high success rate and in most people they stop sight from getting worse. About 40 per cent may get improvement in vision too from Lucentis.

If the blood vessels have already caused scarring then it may not be possible to treat

Also available is the drug Avastin that is similar to Lucentis - and some controversy in 2012 as it is being used in NHS at cheaper costs but Lucentis manufacturer claim it's not been tested fully like their medication and so should not be used.

Photodynamic therapy for macular degeneration

If the Anti-VEGF treatmet is not suitable  then the consultant may opt for PDT - photodynamic treatment.

A light sensitive chemical drug called Verteporfin works it way to the abnormal new blood vessels in wet macular degeneration. A cold laser is applied to vertoporfin while its in the abnormal blood vessels. This seals the blood vessels to stop further leakage.

Eye surgery and macular degeneration.

Although there is no treatment for dry macular degeneration, some eye hospital in the UK may offer operation if patient is suitable for it.

Macular translocation

The macular is rotated away from the centre - and abnormal tissue is removed and then macular is placed into area of good retinal tissue elsewhere. The macular is then rotated back to centre.

Telescopic lens implants

Telescopic lens implants, IOL-Vip  are a new treatment for macular degeneration and other macular disorders.

A concave lens is placed in the eye where the natural lens is - and then a convex lens is placed in front of the iris. These act as a Galilean telescope. The image is then directed to a disease free retinal area but this wont have best vision cells like the macular. However the Galilean telescope magnifies the image and so can improve the sight.

The treatment is called IOL- Vip.  which stands for Intra Ocular Lens for visually impaired people