Late AMD features vision loss as a result of damage to the macula. There are two types of late AMD – Geographic Atrophy (Dry AMD) and Neovascular AMD (Wet AMD).
Wet AMD is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the macula and central vision loss occurs rapidly.
Treatment: Several options exist to treat Wet AMD.
- Drug Injections into the eye slow the growth of abnormal blood vessels.
- Photodynamic therapy involves the injection of a drug into the arm. A laser shined into the eye targets the abnormal blood vessels, which have absorbed the drug, and prevents their continued growth
- Laser surgery differs from the laser used in photodynamic therapy and is often referred to as a “hot” laser. It too is targeted at the blood vessels growing abnormally in the eye.
Dry AMD involves the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly breaking down, leading to a gradual loss of central vision.
Treatment: Unfortunately, there is no generally-accepted treatment for dry AMD. In many cases of wet AMD, laser therapies to destroy leaking blood vessels can help reduce the risk of advancing vision loss. Recent research has shown that specific dosages of zinc, vitamins A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene can help slow late AMD’s advancement, but that they appear to have no effect in preventing the disease.
A solution to the reduced or low vision that often accompanies late AMD can often be found in low vision devices which help improve vision in people suffering from AMD.