Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments


Age related Macular Degeneration: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Age related macular degeneration can also be called in medical terms as progressive foveal dystrophy, macula lutea degeneration, macular dystrophy and tapetoretinal degeneration etc.

How is the treatment done?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative disease that affects the macula or center of the retina of the eye. It is a painless eye condition that causes loss of central vision, and not the peripheral vision and occurs usually in both the eyes. Both genetic and environmental factors are influential in causing this disease. AMD is the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 55.

Signs and symptoms of age related macular degeneration develop gradually. Patients will require ample bright light when working or reading. This is the initial symptom of AMD. There are two types of macular degeneration: dry AMD and wet AMD. In most of the cases, the disease begins as dry macular degeneration. In wet macular degeneration, fluid or blood from blood vessels under the macula start to leak. Symptoms of dry AMD requires a person greater light, difficulty in face recognition, blurriness of printed words, etc. Symptoms of wet macular degeneration may include loss of central vision and visual distortion. For instance, a straight line appearing as distorted. Other symptoms include dark blurry areas or whiteout that appears in the center of the vision and change in the perception of colors.

There is no known cure for age related macular degeneration. But treatment of AMD can help to slow the disease and prevent severe loss of vision. Treatment methods include use of laser therapy, photodynamic laser therapy, Anti-angiogenic drugs, submacular surgery, and other surgical methods. Apart from this, patients in the old age are advised to consume increased amount of vitamins and green leaves which help in improving vision and keeping eyes healthy. Medicines like anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medication help to stop the vision from getting worse by preventing further blood vessels from developing.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Treatment of age related macular degeneration can be done by a number of ways. Doctors may use anti-angiogenic drugs which are injected into the eyes. These prevent new blood vessels from forming and block the leaking from the abnormal vessels that cause wet macular degeneration. Some people get great help from these drugs and have been able to regain vision that they lost from AMD. This treatment needs to be under repeat. Another method to treat AMD is the use of laser therapy. Ophthalmologists may treat macular degeneration with high-energy laser light that can sometimes destroy the active growth of abnormal blood vessels from AMD.Photodynamic laser therapy is a two-step treatment where first the doctor uses a light-sensitive drug to damage the abnormal blood vessels. Then he or she injects a medication into the bloodstream. This medication gets absorbed by the abnormal blood vessels in the eye. Then a laser is directed into the eye to activate the drug, which helps to damage the abnormal blood vessels. Surgeons may perform submacular surgery the abnormal blood vessels, scar tissue, or blood are removed. Retinal translocation is another method to treat age related macular degeneration. In this procedure, the abnormal blood vessels in the eye that are directly under the center of the macula are destroyed. In a retinal translocation surgery, doctors rotate the macular center away from the abnormal blood vessels and then treat the abnormal blood vessels with a laser without harming the macula. Other methods of treating AMD include using low vision aids like lenses or magnifying glasses. These can help in producing an enlarged image of the object. Intake of supplement formula that has vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper is also beneficial for people with AMD. These help to reduce the risk of vision loss in people with dry AMD.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People should consult an eye specialist or ophthalmologist if their vision is getting gradually worse. If the vision starts to get worse suddenly, images appear as distorted or there are blind spots in the field of vision, patients should seek medical advice immediately and book an emergency appointment with an optometrist. If AMD is suspected, patients will be referred to an ophthalmologist for tests and any necessary treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Age related macular degeneration is an eye disease that develops as people grow older. This occurs mostly in people above the age of 55. AMD is not noticed in children or young. People who do not experience the symptoms of AMD or any visual impairment do not need to undergo treatment. Elderly people with proper clear vision will not have to consult any doctor or undergo treatment either.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

There are some side effects noted in patients with the treatment methods of age related macular degeneration. There are some side effects of injections. Patients face discomfort and increased tears in the affected eyes, itchy or watery eyes, swelling of the eyelids, sinus pain, blurred vision, joint pain etc. due to Lucentis (ranibizumab) Injection. Lucentis may also infrequently increase the risk for developing a certain serious eye condition which is known as endophthalmitis, especially during the first week after receiving a dose. Another injection called avastin can cause life threatening problem when applied to people with colorectal cancer. Use of avastin injections have the potential to cause allergic reactions in patients. Although the risk factor with avastin is low, it can still cause rash, hives, itching, shortness of breath, et cetera. Other side effects of the treatment may include eye pain, subconjunctival hemorrhage (bloodshot eye), vitreous floaters, irregularity or swelling of the cornea, inflammation of the eye, and visual disturbances.

How long does it take to recover?

People do not lose their eye sight completely or go blind due to macular degeneration. They just lose part of their vision, mostly near the centre. After treatment, patients should check their vision every day and let the doctor know if any changes are found. People with wet age related macular degeneration must keep a watch out for any blind spot which appears to grow bigger or new blind spots are formed. Regular check up for any new sign or symptom is done to prevent new blood vessels from developing even after years of injections or laser treatments.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Time for recovery from AMD depends on person to person, their stage of AMD and the method of treatment applied. Some people regain proper vision after injections of avastin while others have to continue their treatment with other injections and surgical operations. People may take around two to three months after treatment for proper vision without any problems. Also, the time may get extended to six to eight months, especially for people associated with other diseases like diabetes.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Cost of treatment of age related macular degeneration may vary depending on the type of treatment done. Injection medicines like avastin and lucentis, have a huge price difference. While Lucentis is a costly medicine, Avastin is much cheaper and can be afforded by people who need a year round treatment. Cost of lucentis is around Rs 100000/- per dose while that of avastin is Rs 3500/- per dose. The expenditure for phototherapy and laser surgery is also high. Typically, it costs around Rs. 300000/- - Rs 500000/-.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

No, the results of the treatment for AMD are not permanent. Even post treatment, people are at a risk of having visual problems as they age. It is important to be careful and keep the eyes clean. Regular tests of the eyes to check any new blood vessel or blind spot growth is necessary. People should be cautious to prevent macular degeneration from coming back even after treatment.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have a sebaceous cyst that keeps getting inflamed and leaks and then closing. I've already had 2 rounds of antibiotics and because of where it is, doctors do not want to drain it. Can I put fucibet cream on it to kill the infection?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi
If it’s inflamed you can apply fucibet cream twice a day for 5 days. After the infection subsides, it would be best to get it removed.

Can eating ice cream and chocolate reduce my anxiety levels and make me feel better? Or should I avoid eating ice creams as i'm suffering from anxiety. What majorly should be eaten? Also, I am on petril 0.25 mg. And I take it only when I feel anxious.

MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Dharwad
See, first of mild anxiety. These things like ice cream and chocolate may act as soothing agents. But, if you are suffering from significant / syndromic anxiety disorder these things will not have any significant impact on your symptoms. So...
1 person found this helpful

Sir I am 29 years old and have pcod with submecosal uterine fibroid of 3.5x3.9x2. 5 cm measurement. I am currently taking cystohit m and duoluton l. But after 6 months of treatment size is not reducing. What should I do.

MBBS, Diploma in Advanced Obstetrics and Gynaecological Ultrasound
Gynaecologist, Hyderabad
If it is not causing any problem wait andsee ,if it is causing problems like excessive bleeding andpain abdomen u can remove fibroid only by muon myomectomy

Popular Health Tips

How Does Green Tea Benefits For Skin?

MBBS, Certificate in Hair Transplant, PG Diploma In Clinical Cosmetology (PGDCC), PG Diploma in Medical Trichology, Diploma in Body Sculpting & Body Toning by Slimming Machine
Cosmetology, Mumbai
How Does Green Tea Benefits For Skin?
Looking beautiful is what everyone wants but the cosmetic products we use are at times hard on skin. This is the reason people want to use natural products. There are many natural things which you can use and one of them is green tea. Making green...
1901 people found this helpful

Colon Polyps - What Are The Available Treatment Options?

MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Colon Polyps - What Are The Available Treatment Options?
A polyp is a cauliflower-like growth on the skin or the mucosal surface. Colon is the medical term for the larger intestine and the rectum. A growth on the mucosal surface of this part of the intestine is known as a colon polyp. Although not visib...
1437 people found this helpful

Eczema - How You Can Prevent Its Flare-ups?

MBBS, Diploma in Venerology & Dermatology (DVD), DDV, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Pune
Eczema - How You Can Prevent Its Flare-ups?
Are you experiencing skin itchiness and development of dry, scaly rashes on your skin? This indicates you have eczema, which is a group of skin diseases occurring due to the inflammation and irritation of skin. Atopic dermatitis is the most common...
8327 people found this helpful

Bleeding Problems - Know The Common Types!

IVF Specialist, Raipur
Bleeding Problems - Know The Common Types!
Vaginal bleeding is a common phenomenon in women. Sometimes it is due to cyclical changes in the cycle, while other times, it may be indicative of something unnatural and perhaps severe. Abnormal vaginal bleeding includes: Heavy periods: This is a...
6574 people found this helpful

Importance Of IVF!

IVF Specialist, Raipur
Importance Of IVF!
IVF treatment is important as it helps many patients who would be otherwise unable to conceive. There are many reasons why IVF treatment is necessary. They are as follows. It helps patients who are unable to conceive: Patients who are unable to co...
6493 people found this helpful
Content Details
Written By
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Play video
Acne, Cause & Treatment!
Hello, I am Dr. Monisha Kapoor, Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon. I have been practicing from the past 10 years and most of the practice is aesthetic both surgical and non-surgical. Today I am shooting for the non-surgical facility. As a surgeon, I make s...
Play video
Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)
Hello, I am Dr. Saloni Chopra, Gynaecologist. Today I will talk about a very highlighted topic which is very common amongst the adolescent age group as well as the women of the reproductive age group which is called PCOS. Previously it was conside...
Play video
Infertility And Its Remedies
Hello, I am Dr. Divya Wadhawan, Gynaecologist. Today I will talk about infertility and its remedies. How would studies were done on 19000 women where they say the reduction is required only in animal fat and the carbs improve your fertility rate b...
Play video
Acne - The Most Common Skin Condition
Hello, I am Dr. Lakshman Phonde, Dermatologist, Navi Mumbai. Today I will talk about acne. It is the most common dermatological condition. It affects both male and female. It usually presents with whiteheads and blackheads, pus failed regions, cys...
Play video
Computer Vision Syndrome
Hello, I am Dr. Leena Doshi, Ophthalmologist. Today I will talk about digital eye strain to you. It is also called computer vision syndrome. Now, this is self-explanatory. Life is digital. It has taken over all aspects of life, work, study, includ...
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice