Age-Related Vision Loss: Help Is Available
Understand what AMD is and how it’s treated.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 60. Several treatments are now available to help slow or stop the disease’s progress, with some patients even getting improved vision after treatment.
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A recent national study led by Cleveland Clinic, compared two drugs side by side.
AMD occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, is damaged. The retina is the light-sensing nerve tissue at the back of the eye and the macula is the part of the retina that provides clear central vision.
There are two types of AMD, the “wet” form and the “dry” form:
Several treatments can help manage wet AMD. Cleveland Clinic is a leader in studying medications known as anti-angiogenesis drugs. A national study led by Cole Eye Institute Chairman Daniel F. Martin, MD, compared the two main drugs in this category, ranibizumab (Lucentis) and bevacizumab (Avastin).
The study — known as CATT, for Comparison of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment Trials — was conducted at 44 centers across the country. This landmark study has shown that these injectable drugs are effective. It has also provided information about the best timing for giving them.
Other treatments for wet AMD include:
Patients who have lost a lot of vision may be helped by using low vision aids, devices that produce enlarged images of nearby objects. Also, certain vitamin combinations can slow dry and wet AMD. Ask your eye doctor if these are right for you.