How Do Eye Doctors Treat AMD?

The treatment of AMD has changed very rapidly over the past few years. New treatment options continue to be developed and tested. Prevent Blindness America encourages patients to work together with their eye doctors to find the best treatment plan.

Lucentis ► Lucentis ▼

The drug Lucentis (ranibizumab) was approved by the FDA for treating AMD in June 2006. The drug is injected into the eye, often once a month over the course of many months. Lucentis has been shown to improve vision by at least 3 lines in about one third of patients over a one year course of treatment.

Common side effects: conjunctival hemorrhage, eye pain, vitreous floaters, increased intraocular pressure, eye inflammation.

Rare (less than 1%) but serious side effects: endophthalmitis, retinal detachment, traumatic cataracts.

Avastin ► Avastin ▼

Avastin is a drug similar to Lucentis that is used to treat colon cancer. A recent study indicates that Avastin may be as effective as Lucentis. Ophthalmolgosits may prescribe Avastin off label for the treatment of AMD.

Eylea ► Eylea ▼

Eylea is injected every other month or monthly and works similarly to Lucentis and Avastin.

Macugen ► Macugen ▼

Macugen (pegabtanib) was approved in 2004 to treat Wet AMD, and is used solely or in combination with other AMD treatments. Since the approval of Lucentis, it is not as often used, but it remains a treatment option.

Photodynamic therapy ► Photodynamic therapy ▼

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses a laser beam with a light-sensitive dye to destroy unhealthy new blood vessels under the retina. This treatment is used in combination with other AMD treatments.

Photocoagulation ► Photocoagulation ▼

Another laser treatment, called photocoagulation, uses a stronger laser to destroy new blood vessels. The treatment itself may leave permanent blind spots in a person’s vision. But it helps to slow or stop the growth of new blood vessels.

Other treatments ► Other treatments ▼

Vitamin Supplements. There is evidence that dietary supplements can help prevent the progression of age-relatated macular degeneration. People with AMD should discuss nutrition strategies with their eye doctor. Read More