Photodynamic therapy for macular degeneration is an approved method of treatment. This condition often occurs in aging people as a result of damage to the retina. People with the disease have major vision problems and have trouble recognizing faces or reading. There are wet and dry classifications for the disease, which pertain to the growth of blood vessels in the eye.
How It Works
Photodynamic Therapy is used on the wet form of the disease, which shows growth of new blood vessels. During the procedure, you will have an injection in your arm of a drug called Visudyne. As the drug passes through those new blood vessels in the eye, a laser light is shined into your eye, activating the medicine. Damaged vessels are destroyed, preventing fluid buildup around the macula, decreasing the growth of scar tissue, and greatly improving vision.
This therapy works in one out of six patients. The only pain you may feel is from the small needle prick in your arm as the drug is injected. Photodynamic Therapy only takes about 20 minutes and can be done right in the doctor's office. Recovery is quick, and you can return to work immediately, with only a little sensitivity to light. This procedure does not restore vision, but prevents further damage to the eyes. Experts say this treatment is more effective than regular laser therapy, and it is able to more accurately target bad blood vessels and leave only the healthy ones. Most side effects are temporary and cause only slight discomfort.