Macular Degeneration: Exciting New Treatment Options

Macular Degeneration - Exciting New Treatment Options

There are several new treatment options for macular degeneration, that are available either commercially, or in the stage of clinical testing. This article outlines what you need to know!

In the video below, Dr. Omar Punjabi discusses the newest treatment options available for those with macular degeneration.

If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.

Dry macular degeneration treatments

Unfortunately, once it develops, dry macular degeneration has no currently available treatment. 

However, there are exciting new injectable drugs in the phase of clinical research testing. These drugs regulate the complement system in the eye. This system is predominantly thought to be responsible for the development and progression of dry macular degeneration. 

There are other drugs in testing as well. If any of these treatments work, they will be a game changer in the field of retinal diseases.

RELATED: Diabetic Retinopathy: Exciting New Treatment Options

Here is a visual of dry vs wet macular degeneration

Note: To prevent the initial development of dry macular degeneration, I highly recommend protecting your eyes from long-term UV sun exposure, eating a diet high in vitamins, and not smoking.

Wet macular degeneration treatments

On the other hand, for wet macular degeneration, there are exciting drugs and implants that block a molecule called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). This molecule leads to vision-threatening complications in the retina.

Currently, the commercially available anti-VEGF treatment agents include:

Avastin treatment for wet macular degeneration

Bevacizumab (Avastin)

Lucentis treatment for wet macular degeneration

Ranibizumab (Lucentis)

Eylea treatment for wet macular degeneration

Aflibercept (Eylea)

Fortunately, all of these have excellent success rates for treatment of wet macular degeneration and have saved vision in a lot of patients!

Vision with macular deneneration

Clinical trials

Lastly, a new device, currently being tested in clinical trials, is surgically implanted and is long lasting. It can potentially provide sustained delivery of medication for up to 6 months and can be refilled in the office.

RELATED: 4 Benefits of Clinical Trials In Eye Care

If you want to learn more about these exciting new treatments, make sure you schedule an appointment with your local eye care professional today.

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Omar Punjabi, MD is a retina specialist and vitreo-retinal surgeon at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates (CEENTA) in Charlotte, North Carolina. He completed his fellowship training in retinal diseases and vitreo-retinal surgery at the prestigious Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Punjabi has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles and presented numerous scientific abstracts and text-book chapters. During fellowship he received the Best Fellow Teacher of the Year award, and was the recipient of the Heed Fellowship from the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation. He has won several academic awards and scholarships during his residency training at Northwestern University and during medical school. Prior to his residency training, he spent a year as a research fellow at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL and worked on the development of the spectral domain OCT. He has received several research awards including the Beem-Fisher Award in 2010, the Research Award from Northwestern University in 2010 and the National Eye Institute travel grant in 2006. Dr. Punjabi is an active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the Society of Heed Fellows. His areas of interest include medical and surgical diseases of the retina and vitreous, including retinal detachment, age-related macular degeneration, retinal vascular diseases, diabetic retinopathy and ocular trauma.