Currently, there are no effective treatments for dry AMD, but a study conducted by the National Eye Institute (called the AREDS study) found that a special formulation of vitamins for people with intermediate dry AMD can lower their risk of developing the advanced form of the condition.
If you have dry AMD, speak to your eye doctor to determine if this special supplement may be right for you. If you smoke or take other medications or supplements, let your doctor know before considering this high-dose formulation.
There are several treatments available for people with wet AMD, which can help slow down vision loss and, in some cases, restore vision. Wet AMD treatments may have costs that are not covered by some provincial health care insurance plans. Ask your doctor about the cost of any treatments you may be considering.
Wet AMD treatments include:
laser photocoagulation therapy. In this treatment, a laser is targeted to eliminate abnormal blood vessels emerging in the macula. This therapy is now used only in extremely severe cases since it can create scars on the retina, resulting in permanent blind spots.
photodynamic therapy. In this treatment, a light-sensitive dye is injected into the body and accumulates in new blood vessels. When a laser is focused over the macula, the dye is activated and causes blood to stop leaking into the retina. This treatment rearely used today.
anti-angiogenic therapy (also known as anti-VEGF injections). In this treatment, anti-angiogenic drugs are injected into the eye, sometimes for two years or longer, to stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels. The two most common anti-angiogenic agents for wet AMD are:
Only Lucentis is approved by Health Canada and reimbursed in all Canadian provinces and territories.
Treatments for AMD are constantly evolving so it’s important to consult regularly with an eye doctor to learn about the latest developments.