Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Age-related macular degeneration is a common ailment in our older patients. As we age, our eyes age along with us, and our vision suffers as a result. There are two types of age-related macular degeneration: wet and dry.
Wet Vs. Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
While dry AMD is by far the most common version, wet AMD is still a serious concern for aging adults. Fortunately, if you’re suffering from wet AMD, the eye doctors at California Retina Associates have a number of macular degeneration treatments, including intravitreal injections of what are called anti-VEGF medications. We invite anyone with AMD that could benefit from treatment with anti-VEGF drugs in San Diego to contact us for more information. Our retinal specialists have the experience and technology to help preserve your vision and protect your eye health.
Understanding VEGF and How It Hurts Your Vision
In the “wet” version of ARMD, blood vessels grow under your retina or around the macula (which is the part of the retina responsible for color and fine detail). As these vessels leak blood and fluid, your macula can become damaged, which causes your vision to suffer. You may develop hazy, blurry or distorted vision in your central vision and find it difficult to drive, read or perform similar tasks because of the macular damage. If left untreated, the effects of wet macular degeneration can cause irreversible sight loss.
VEGF is a protein in your body that signals and stimulates the growth of blood vessels. The body will direct oxygen to new blood cells, which helps them grow.
This process, known as angiogenesis, is normally crucial to the healthy functioning of your body. However, in the case of wet AMD, this process is the cause of your vision issues.
Benefits of Anti-VEGFs Medications
Anti-angiogenic substances are designed to stop the growth of excessive blood vessels. Anti-VEGF medications are specifically designed to block the VEGF protein, thus inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels. This prevents the leakage of blood and fluid in the retina and macula, and can halt the loss of vision you are experiencing because of wet AMD.
How Are Anti-VEGF Drugs Administered?
Anti-VEGF drugs are administered via an injection into the appropriate area of your eye. Our experienced eye doctors will ensure your eye is numb before the procedure so you will not feel pain. The needle used is very thin and normally inserted into the corner of the eye.
Anti-VEGFs we offer include:
These treatments may require multiple injections over a period of months.
Alternative Treatments for Wet AMD
Anti-VEGF injections can work on their own or in conjunction with other treatments, like photodynamic therapy, which involves administering a special drug and activating it with a non-thermal laser to seal off leaking blood vessels. Another treatment option is thermal laser photocoagulation, in which a thermal laser is directed at the abnormal blood vessels to close them off.
Our eye doctors will discuss your options with you, answer your questions about macular degeneration and make sure you get the procedures that are right for you.
Contact Our Retina Specialists
If you are looking for an experienced retinal specialist team that offers treatment for AMD with anti-VEGFs in San Diego or the nearby areas, we’re ready to help. Please contact California Retina Associates today.
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