Treating Exudative or Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Sunir J. Garg, MD


October 04, 2019

Exudative or wet age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in patients over 50.

Guidelines from the American Academy of Ophthalmology designate anti-VEGF therapy as the most effective approach to treating the condition. Anti-VEGF agents inhibit the vascular endothelial growth factor, which is overexpressed in the disease. Used as a front-line therapy, these drugs can dramatically improve outcomes for elderly patients, restoring central vision loss and improving quality of life.

Dr Sunir Garg, co-director of retina research at Wills Eye Hospital, explains that optimal outcomes correlate with regular treatment intervals. One reason why clinical trial results have not been replicated in the clinical setting is largely because patients are unable to maintain optimal 4-week intervals used in clinical trials. Among the leading barriers to care is transportation; non-driving patients are not always able to travel to the ophthalmologist for their injections. Most patients experience benefits, and newer clinical trials show that results can be maintained in about half of patients using a 12-week dosing schedule.


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