Wet macular degeneration is one of two kinds of age related macular degeneration. In its wet form, macular degeneration occurs when blood vessels grow in the choriocapillaris. They push through the Bruch’s membrane and can leak into the macula. The leaking fluid and scarring that comes with this abnormal blood vessel growth can cause damage to the rods and cones (photoreceptors) of the eye that cannot be corrected. When wet macular degeneration is left untreated, the patient may experience quick vision loss. Luckily, modern medicine has created a few effective treatment options that can help patients restore vision.
Treatment of Wet Macular Degeneration
Patients diagnosed with wet macular degeneration have a few treatment options available. Drugs called anti-angiogenics offer an injectable treatment. These drugs have been known to cause abnormal blood vessel growth to regress, which leads to vision improvement in wet macular degeneration. Injectable treatments are generally done monthly or bi-monthly using medications like Lucentis, Avastin, and Macugen. Not all of these medications are FDA approved for wet macular degeneration treatment. As of 2007, only pegaptanib and ranibizumab are officially approved for treatment of this specific condition.
Signs of Wet Macular Degeneration
There are many signs that wet macular degeneration has formed. Fast diagnosis and treatment is vital because this condition can progress quickly. The patient may notice hemorrhaging in the eye as well as blurring or distortion of vision. In cases of distortion, rows of straight lines may look curved or even blank.
Patients will also notice a loss of sight, which may appear in the central area of vision. These missing spots will look like shadows. The patient will also notice the loss of color vision and contrast. These problems can become a serious issue when trying to continue functioning at a normal level with wet macular degeneration. Anyone who notices these symptoms appearing should seek the advice of their eye doctor immediately. The symptoms of wet macular degeneration may not be reversible, so treating the problem early can help slow the onset of the condition. For the patient, that can mean more years of normal vision.