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How is Age-Related Macular Degeneration treated?

Related Topics: Macular Degeneration

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Medical Reference


There is no cure or treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) at this time.

You may not have significant problems with your vision for many years. Vision loss happens very slowly and is usually not severe. It often affects only one eye, and you may be able to adjust for the vision loss with the unaffected eye. If you have dry AMD, follow your doctor's advice for having regular exams and for watching the condition at home (such as using an Amsler grid), because dry AMD may sometimes develop into wet AMD.

Your doctor may advise vitamin supplements or a diet rich in zinc and antioxidant vitamins. These vitamins may help slow the progression of advanced AMD and delay vision loss if you already have AMD.


In a few cases, wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), which is the more serious form of the disease, can be treated with photodynamic therapy (PDT), medicines that are injected into the eye, or thermal laser photocoagulation surgery.

Treatment cannot cure AMD, but it can slow its progression. Other types of treatments using radiation are being studied. But these treatments are considered experimental and are not part of standard treatment.

Some cases of wet AMD cannot be treated by either laser photocoagulation or PDT. And PDT can only be used for a minority of cases.4

Treatment cannot restore vision, but it can sometimes slow down or delay further damage to your central vision. But in most cases, growth of fragile new blood vessels in wet AMD recurs, and even repeated treatment is usually not effective over the long term in preventing some loss of central vision.

Because wet AMD often causes rapid and severe loss of central vision, it is important not to delay treatment if your doctor recommends it.

If you already have AMD

Do not smoke. For more information about quitting smoking, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

A large study by the U.S. National Eye Institute (NEI) found that taking zinc and antioxidant vitamins may help slow the progression of advanced AMD and delay vision loss if you already have AMD.2

If you already have vision loss from AMD, your doctor may also conduct a low-vision evaluation. The evaluation will help you find ways to make the best use of your remaining vision. The evaluation also may include suggestions for counseling and training on dealing with reduced vision to help you keep your quality of life as much as possible.

Because AMD often leads to a significant loss of vision and, in most cases, there is no effective treatment, finding out that you have AMD can be very hard. Your doctor can refer you to counselors who specialize in helping people adjust to living with low vision.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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Read the Original Article: Age-Related Macular Degeneration-Treatment Overview
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