Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a problem with the macula, a small area in the retina where there is light-sensitive tissue. The retina is the layer of nerve tissue at the back of the eye that records images that are sent to the brain. The macula is responsible for central vision, which we need for doing tasks such as reading and driving. There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. In this article, we will focus on dry AMD, including current and future therapies.
Dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common type of AMD. It occurs when tiny clumps of protein called drusen form under the retina. Dry AMD usually progresses slowly and can lead to vision loss over time if geographic atrophy develops. Currently, there is no cure for dry AMD and there are no current treatments. There are, however, some new treatments in clinical trials which may be helpful in treating this condition.
While there currently are no available treatment options for dry AMD today as of this writing in December of 2022, taking certain certain vitamin supplements has been shown to be helpful in reducing the progression to wet macular degeneration. These vitamins and minerals are found in foods such as leafy green vegetables, salmon, tuna, nuts, and seeds. They can also be taken in supplement form. The AREDS2 vitamins have been studied and found to be helpful in reducing dry AMD progression to wet AMD.
A new and potential therapy on the horizon is pegcetacoplan, which targets a complement protein called C3. Pegcetacoplan has been found to be helpful in clinical trials in treating dry AMD by slowly the progression of geographic atrophy. The medication is given as an injection into the eye once a month. This helps to prevent further vision loss from geographic atrophy in dry AMD. Clinical trial data is currently being reviewed by the FDA and more information will become available in early 2023.
In conclusion, if you have been diagnosed with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), there may be treatment options available in the near future to help slow its progression and prevent further vision loss. While there is currently no cure for dry AMD, the potential treatment can help prevent further vision loss from this condition.