Learn About Treatment Options for Macular Degeneration
The management of either type of age related macular degeneration continues to be a challenge for patients, ophthalmologists, and the healthcare system. The primary purpose of age related macular degeneration disease management is to minimize visual loss and the related physical and emotional impairment, and to optimize vision-related quality of life. Recently, the important progress made in the comprehension and knowledge about basic pathologic mechanisms in both types of age related macular degeneration has led to novel developments in therapeutic strategies resulting in a widening of available treatment options and improved prognostic perspectives. Treatment options span a broad range of therapeutic approaches, including thermal laser photocoagulation, surgical approaches (excision, displacement, or transplantation), and new treatments targeting the CNV component and its pathogenic cascade, such as Verteporfin with photodynamic therapy (vPDT) and more recently anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapies. Because of relatively revolutionary efficacy results using anti-VEGF therapy, we can now, for the first time, anticipate that over a quarter of our patients with exudative age related macular degeneration will show visual improvement. Emerging strategies such as RNA interference, gene therapy, and new treatment targets such as integrin inhibitors and complement modifying agents have great promise and are under study. This review will focus on summarizing the actual therapeutic options in the clinical management of the different forms of age related macular degeneration and provide an overview about therapeutic perspectives.