05 Apr 2017
Centre for Sight is excited to announce treatments for wet Age-related Macular Degeneration available from May 2017.
There are two types of the disease: dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. Dry AMD is the most common, but less serious form of the disease affecting about 85% of patients.
Wet AMD is the most serious type affecting approximately 15% of patients and it is so called because abnormal new vessels grow under the retina and result in leakage of fluid and blood in the macula with rapid loss of central vision within days.
This condition can now be successfully slowed down by early intervention which can prevent permanent loss of central vision.
Both the dry and wet form of AMD cause no pain. The classic early symptom of wet macular degeneration is when straight lines appear crooked. This occurs when fluid from the leaking blood vessels gathers and lifts the macula, distorting vision. The patient may see a small blind patch which can become permanent if not treated.
Very sophisticated designer molecules that arrest blood vessel growth are injected near the retina (intravitreal injections) under local anaesthetic at around 4 to 8 weekly intervals. These are effective at slowing down AMD progression, preserving eyesight and limiting permanent damage on the macula.
Anti-VEGF treatments are currently licensed in UK and approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for treatment of wet AMD/ARMD as long as certain clinical criteria are met. The principle aim is to halt progressive growth of new blood vessels and in turn stop bleeding and fluid from leaking into and under the retina.
Treatments for wet macular degeneration by the drugs which block the vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) including Eylea (Aflibercept), Lucentis (Ranibizumab) and Avastin (Bevacizumab) have transformed the outcome of what was previously a really devastating condition.
Miss Lucia Pelosini, MD FRCOphth, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Centre for Sight and Ophthalmology Lead Clinician at East Surrey Hospital has published innovative research on retinal imaging and says “We are extremely lucky to be able to offer these new treatments for AMD, however the early detection of wet AMD always results in better preservation of sight and reduces the risk of permanent damage to the eye.”
It is crucial to diagnose and treat AMD as early as possible to prevent irreversible loss of central vision. It is also recommended that first-degree relatives of AMD patients monitor their eye health on a regular basis with simple non-invasive tests.
Regular eye checks are vitally important for all over the age of 50!
More information on Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD/ARMD)