Macular degeneration affects vision, sometimes significantly. However, there are treatments and prevention methods to manage age-related macular degeneration better. And that's what we're going to look at in this article. However, keep in mind that while the various treatments we'll be reviewing in this article help slow the disease's progression, there is currently no treatment that can permanently cure AMD.

What are the treatments for age-related macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, encompasses two types of conditions: wet AMD and dry AMD. Here are the treatment options for these two types of AMD.

Treatments for wet AMD

Intravitreal injections to block the development of the disease

Intravitreal injections involve administering drugs that block the formation of new, abnormal blood vessels in the retina. These drugs are called anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor).

The injection is performed under local anesthetic and must be repeated as needed and as recommended by eye specialists. After treatment, visual acuity generally improves.

Photodynamic therapy using laser treatment

Photodynamic therapy involves using a low-intensity laser to destroy or shrink abnormal blood vessels in the retina. This treatment is preferred for people who cannot tolerate the anti-angiogenic drugs used for intravitreal injections. Several sessions are often required.

Treatments for dry AMD

Until recently, there was no treatment for dry macular degeneration. But in 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug to treat dry AMD: SYFOVRE® (pegcetacoplan injection).

Like all other AMD treatments, this injectable drug does not cure the disease but does slow its progression.

What can be done to prevent age-related macular degeneration?

You can do several things to help prevent the onset of AMD symptoms. These tips are just as valid for preserving your eye health in general. In other words, it's never too late to apply them. The benefits will be felt over the long term and will impact the quality of your vision in general.

Adopt a balanced diet to maintain the quality of your eyesight

A balanced, diversified diet rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, and oily fish helps maintain eye health. As a result, it helps reduce your risk of developing AMD.

Protect your eyes with sunglasses

Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays damages the eyes. That's why it's a good idea to wear sunglasses for outdoor activities, whatever your age.

Eliminate smoking to reduce the risk of eye disease

Smoking is a major risk factor for AMD. Quitting smoking helps reduce the risk of developing AMD and slows its progression. Don't hesitate to consult your GP to help you stop smoking.

Check your family history of AMD

People whose families are affected by the disease are at greater risk of developing macular degeneration as they age. It's important to check with family members as much as possible to see if anyone else is affected by macular degeneration.

While there is currently no cure for macular degeneration, regular eye care is essential. Optometric monitoring helps prevent the onset and progression of symptoms. In addition, early detection helps to better manage the disease's progression. That's why, after the age of 50, we recommend that you make an appointment for an eye exam every year.