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
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.
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
It may be worth trying eye supplements if have eye disease or family history of macular
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
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 -
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
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.
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 treatment is called IOL- Vip. which stands for Intra Ocular Lens for visually