Anti-VEGF Treatment for Wet AMD
If you have a certain form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), your ophthalmologist may treat it with a medicine called anti-VEGF.
What is AMD?
AMD is a problem with your retina. It occurs when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. When you have AMD you lose your central vision. You cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something up-close or at a distance. But your peripheral (side) vision will still not be different. For example, imagine you are looking at a clock with hands. With AMD, you might see the clock’s numbers but not the hands.
AMD is very common. It is a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years or older.
With AMD, dark areas may appear in your central vision.
Anti-VEGF treatment for Wet AMD
Your ophthalmologist may treat your wet AMD with a drug inside the eye called anti-VEGF. This medicine slows or stops the damage from abnormal blood vessels. Anti-VEGF treatment can slow down vision loss. Sometimes it can even improve vision.
Anti-VEGF treatment improves vision in about half of (1 out of 2) people who take it.
There are two types of AMD:
Dry AMD: This form is quite common. About 80% (8 out of 10) people who have AMD have the dry form. Dry AMD is when parts of the macula get thinner with age and drusen grow. You slowly lose central vision. There is no way to treat dry AMD yet.
Wet AMD: This form is less common but much more serious. Wet AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. You lose vision faster with wet AMD than with dry AMD.
Here is how anti-VEGF treatment is given:
The eye is numbed to reduce pain. A small device may be placed on your eye to keep your eyelids out of the way.
Using a very thin needle, your ophthalmologist injects the drug in the back of your eye. The injection only takes a few seconds.
Your ophthalmologist will decide how many treatments you need. You may need other types of treatment along with anti-VEGF treatment.
Treatment for Wet AMD
The benefit of anti-VEGF treatment is that it slows vision loss—and possibly improves vision. But just like any other drug or surgery, there are risks with anti-VEGF treatment. These risks include possible infection or damage to parts of the eye. Your ophthalmologist can help you understand risks and benefits of anti-VEGF treatment.
Anti-VEGF is a treatment for people with wet AMD. This medicine is injected into the eye to slow vision loss and possibly improve vision.