Eye Drops for Macular Degeneration

Friday, February 15, 2013

Eye Drops for Macular Degeneration

Massachusetts eye doctor Francis D’Ambrosio, Jr., M.D. shared some thoughts and information about some possible eye drop treatments for macular degeneration. “We have been so fortunate to be able to treat “wet” macular degeneration with vascular endothelial growth inhibitor (VEGF) injections such as Lucentis®. With regular eye exams and early detection and diagnosis this has made a huge impact on so many people and their quality of life,” commented Dr. D’Ambrosio Jr.  “However, 85% or so of the cases of macular degeneration that we diagnose are “dry” macular degeneration and thus it would be significant if we could find some form of treatment for this type as well. Although we don’t fully understand the exact cause of “dry” AMD, we know that it tends to progress more slowly than the “wet” type and is characterized by the appearance of small white or yellowish deposits, called drusen, form on the retina, beneath the macula, causing it to deteriorate or degenerate over time. The most likely cause is a diminished blood flow in the blood vessels of choroid-a tissue beneath the retina that supplies it with oxygen and nutrients,” Dr. D’Ambrosio Jr. of D’Ambrosio Eye Care with offices in Athol, Lancaster, Acton & Gardner explained.

The FDA has facilitated a “fast track” approach and testing of an experimental eye drop that has an active ingredient that has been approved and used in an oral formulation to treat hypertension. It is thought that these new eye drops may act to increase choroidal blood flow and circulation and thus slow or stop the progression of AMD from the early stage (dry AMD) to the later stage (wet AMD) by increasing the blood flow in the eye's choroidal vessels. Thus far the early clinical studies show that the drug is safe for use in human subjects and is now being tested to determine if it can be an effective treatment for dry AMD by increasing choroidal blood flow. 

“We are continually reviewing the research, the publications and the FDA clinical trials to find better ways to take care of our patients-it’s just part of being a good physician and our patients depend on us. More to come regarding “dry” macular eye drop treatment as soon as we have the data and information,” said Dr. D’Ambrosio Jr. 

If you or someone you know is concerned about age related macular degeneration (AMD) risk or has any family history of age related macular degeneration they are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care is a leading eye and LASIK care practice serving greater Boston and central Massachusetts including Athol, Acton, Berlin, Bolton, Boylston, Boxborough, Chelmsford, Clinton, Concord, Fitchburg, Gardner, Greenfield, Groton, Harvard, Hudson, Lancaster, Leominster, Lexington, Littleton, Lowell, Lunenburg, Marlborough, Milford, Shelburne Falls, Shirley, Sterling, Stow, Sudbury, Templeton, Westminster, Westborough, Winchendon and Worcester, Massachusetts.