Dry Macular Degeneration is the most common type of Age Related Macular Degeneration making up 85-90% of cases, resulting in a slow progressive loss of vision. While there is no current treatment for Dry Macular Degeneration, one specific type of Dry AMD called Geographic Atrophy, may have a possible treatment option in the near future. Wet Macular Degeneration is far more immediate and catastrophic in vision loss and thus we are very fortunate to have possible treatment options that may help to slow or even halt the progression of vision loss. However, patients must understand that once the macula has been damaged, there is no treatment that currently can consistently reverse that damage and the associated loss of vision. Early diagnosis and treatment to prevent or halt vision loss must be the approach that we take. Currently there are some treatment options available for certain types of macular degeneration that include Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth factor (VEGF) injections such as Avastin®, Lucentis®, Eylea®, Vabysmo® & Susvimo™ for Wet Macular Degeneration.
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Inhibitors (VEGF)
Avastin®, Lucentis®, Eylea®, Vabysmo® & Susvimo™ Retina Injections
As a result of advanced cancer research in the area of “angiogenesis” or new blood vessel growth, considerable information has been gathered and applied to the treatment of Wet Macular Degeneration. Researchers discovered that a specific protein called “Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor” (VEGF) causes the growth of new blood vessels or “neovascularization” to occur in the eye. From this work, drugs that can be injected into the eye in order to slow or stop the growth of new blood vessels have been developed. Lucentis®, Eylea®, Vabysmo® & Susvimo™ have been developed and FDA approved with specific indications to treat Wet Macular Degeneration. Each of these drugs works by inhibiting Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) so that there is little or no stimulus to grow new blood vessels in the Retina.
These injections are intravitreal injections – that means an injection that is placed directly into the Vitreous of the eye.
Generally they need to be repeated every four to eight weeks. We will work with retina specialists to tailor a treatment regimen in order to provide the greatest efficacy yet one that provides the least burden to the patient. Clinical studies of these anti-VEGF Injections indicate that when given to patients who have evidence of new blood vessel formation monthly, over 90% of patients will maintain their vision and approximately 40% will have their vision improve.