Macular degeneration - therapy

Even if there is no definitive cure at the moment, the progression of the disease can be stopped. A study in the 1990s has shown that certain vitamin supplements and minerals can slow down dry macular degeneration. Especially suitable are vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin; Betacarotinoids, on the other hand, have proved to be risky. The newly formed blood vessels in the wet macular degeneration can be destroyed by means of a laser treatment. However, the patient must accept the scarring of the retina, which in turn leads to visual disturbances. Therefore, this therapy is only possible if the vessels are not located directly in the macula.

Photodynamic therapy

In photodynamic therapy (PDT), a photosensitive dye is activated by means of a cold laser directed at the eye. The dye itself infuses into the body via the arm vein and accumulates in the newly formed, leaky blood vessels in the eye. The ophthalmologist activates the dye with the help of the laser beam, so that the diseased vessels are closed. Since the photosensitive layer of the retina was permanently damaged before the procedure, this outpatient treatment can stop the progression of the disease, but can not fundamentally improve it. In many cases multiple treatment is necessary. After treatment, the patient should wear special eye protection for some time, which the ophthalmologist will give to the patient. Long-sleeved clothing to protect against sun and light is necessary until the remaining inactivated dye is completely eliminated after 48 hours.

Medical therapy

For a few years, so-called anti-VEGFs are on the market - the abbreviation for the somewhat bulky English term "Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor". In German one speaks also of vascular growth factor inhibitors. These medications effectively stop the progression of wet AMD, and in some cases even improve vision. The previously available Lucentis® and Avastin® preparations are injected directly into the anesthetized eye and the treatment must be repeated several times. However, officially approved for the treatment of wet AMD in Germany is currently only the much more expensive Lucentis®; The doctor's fees often have to be taken over by the patients themselves in whole or in part. Patients should therefore clarify a planned therapy in advance with their health insurance.

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