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The center of the light-sensitive retina is called the macula. This area is responsible for detailed colour vision. With age the macula can develop aging changes (macular degeneration) or blood vessel changes (diabetic retinopathy, vascular occlusion). There are now effective treatments available to help slow or reverse the damage cause by macular degeneration.
What happens during my appointment?
Lucentis or Avastin is used to treat wet Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and help stop further loss of vision. It some cases it can possibly improve vision.
They work by blocking the effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which is a chemical found naturally in the eye where it helps the growth of new blood vessels. Abnormal new blood vessels grow under the retina in patients with wet AMD, these blood vessels can leak fluid or bleed damaging central vision. Lucentis and Avastin work by stopping VEGF helping these abnormal vessels grow.
Lucentis and Avastin are medicines which are given by injection into your eye. At the start of your treatment plan injections will usually be given three times during the first eight weeks and then as required. On average, a person will need eight injections in the first year of treatment.
Treatment is given as an out-patient. Drops will be put into your eye to make your pupils bigger with further drops being used to numb the eye. A gentle clip will be put in place to hold your eyes open preventing you from blinking. A very fine needle is then used to inject the Lucentis or Avastin, this is very quick with little discomfort.
Your eye may sting a little following treatment and may be a little blurred and red. This should settle down after a day or two.
Trials have shown Lucentis and Avastin to be very effective in treating wet AMD, 95% of people kept the same or improved vision one year after treatment. This is the first time any treatment has improved a patient with AMD’s vision rather than just preventing deterioration.
Who will I see for treatment?