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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7744
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have macular degeneration. Is there anything new in treatment.

Resolved Question:

I have macular degeneration. Is there anything new in treatment. One eye is "dry" and is OK for now...and hopefully for quite awhile. The other was not diagnosed quickly enough and is quite advanced...however, I just started taking "shots" for that one...anything new on the horizon and anything you would recommend.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
For the dry macular degeneration (ARMD) I suggest you continue taking the vitamins your ophthalmologist recommends. ICaps and Ocuvite are common brand names. This is the only treatment that has been shown to be effective for Dry ARMD in a well controlled study (AREDS)

For the eye with the wet ARMD, the shots (avastin or lucentis) are the current treatment of choice for subfoveal lesions.

There is a new drug, which is in a similar class as avastin and lucentis. It is called afibercept (Eyelea). This medicine, which is also given as an injection into the eyeball may need to be injected less often then the above medicines.

Afibercept has only recently (Nov 2011) become FDA approved for use in wet ARMD patients. I have used it in my practice but, to tell you the truth, I really haven't used it enough yet to learn if it will stand up to the promises made by the drug company.

There are, of course, older treatments for Wet ARMD still available, such as photodynamic therapy and thermal laser however, with the advent of these new drugs I find myself using these treatment options less frequently.

It sounds like are in excellent hands and are being given state-of-the-art treatments. I suggest you continue with this course.

Does this make sense to you?


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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
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Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7744
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and 2 other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your answer, further discussion would include what might be the outcome of the shots: should I expect something right away (it seems as if that is happening).....and if it has already been 'damaged' would it ever return to some semblance of normalcy? Has that happened with what you are discussing in your practice?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
The goal of the shots are to keep your vision at the level it is right now. In some cases, however, an increase in visual acuity is obtained...which is an added bonus.

I don't think that your vision will ever become completely normal again due to damage to some photoreceptors.

In my practice I've had good results with the shots into the eyeball, with many patients retaining useful vision. This was not the case in the days before avastin/lucentis/afiberecpt.

Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7744
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and 2 other Eye Specialists are ready to help you

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