Avastin and Lucentis: Neck and Neck

Both Avastin and Lucentis are anti-VEGF treatments for wet macular degeneration.  Both are manufactured by Genentech (Roche).  A small study just published found no clinical difference between the two drugs, that is, one worked as well as the other. There has been quite a debate over the difference between the two drugs and their ability to treat wet macular … [Read more...]

Testing Your Eyes at Home

Amsler Grid

The major problem with wet macular degeneration is that the "wet" abnormal blood vessels tend to affect the macula.  This usually causes decreased vision and distortion.  Home monitoring, or self-monitoring, is based on the premise that new distortion may signify presence of neovascularization. Patients with wet macular degeneration have two major concerns; recurrence … [Read more...]

“Cross My Heart, Hope to Die, Stick a Needle in My…”

I give intravitreal eye injections everyday! It is one of the most rewarding things I do! And they come back for more!  My patients love it because anti-VEGF injections usually work really well, especially if the wet form of macular degeneration is caught early. Suspicion Confirmed When I examine a patient and suspect that a patient has wet macular degeneration, … [Read more...]

No Laser for Macular Degeneration…..We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

"Blind Spot" with Laser

I have been in practice for about 17 years.  The present treatments for the treatment of macular degeneration are a godsend compared to the standards we used in the 1990's.  At that time, laser treatment for wet macular degeneration was our only weapon.............and it was horrible. State of the art treatment in the early 90's involved using a laser to treat the … [Read more...]

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for Macular Degeneration, Obsolete?

Whatever happened to photodynamic therapy?  Visudyne®, a form of photodynamic therapy, was one of the first "treatments" for wet, or exudative, macular degeneration and quickly became the treatment of choice.  It was approved for the treatment of wet macular degeneration in 2000.  The treatment involves infusion of Visudyne® (verteporfin for injection) into the patient, … [Read more...]

Systemic Avastin May Be Effective for Macular Degeneration

In select instances, administering Avastin® (bevacizumab) intravenously may be an effective way of treating patients with wet macular degeneration.  In a short study, patients were randomly selected to be treated with either intravenous Avastin® or saline.   Patients received only 3 infusions every two weeks and were followed for 24 weeks.  Patients were observed for … [Read more...]

Combination of Radiation and anti-VEGF Shows Promise

In article released in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers describe a combination of brachytherapy and intravitreal injections of Avastin to treat patients with choroidal neovascularization from ARMD (the so-called "wet" form of the disease).  In this prospective, randomized trial, 34 patients were treated with brachytherapy and two injections of bevacizumab … [Read more...]

What About Vitamins?

What vitamins help macular degeneration?  I am asked this daily.  What should I take?  What should I eat?  What can I do?  The answer is simply...........I don't really know.  The information about supplements, be they vitamins or foods, is really scarce.  I usually tell patients that my job is to report the hard data to you and not to promote remedies or pills which are … [Read more...]

Cases of ARMD to Double

In this month's (April,  2009) edition of Archives of Ophthalmology, a study reports the prevalence of patients afflicted with macular degeneration is expected to almost double by the year 2050.  In other words, the number of patients suffering the disease at a given time is expected to near double in the next 40 years. All forms of macular degeneration are expected to … [Read more...]

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