Hello everyone! Dr Hann here from Eastside Eye Specialist Care, writing to you on my way home from Austria!

I recently had the pleasure of attending the 36th Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) in Vienna. There are some exciting new treatments and research in the area of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which I will discuss in this post. I often get asked about this disease by patients, so I am pleased to give you a promising update!

Let’s take a closer look at AMD

The disease targets the macula portion of the retina in our eyes which is critical for central vision, and when damaged, can have considerable impact on day-to-day life.

The most common form of the disease is dry AMD – around 80% of cases. Currently, dry AMD has no available treatment that can improve vision or stop the relentless damage caused by the disease. Wet AMD however, in most cases, can be stabilised through recurrent injections into the eye. The injected medicine targets leaking blood vessels in the macula, which in turn stabilises or improves central vision.

I am optimistic about upcoming treatments for both conditions, announced at ESCRS:

  • Research has discovered positive healing responses to short periods of targeted low level light exposure in dry AMD. Recent trials also suggest favourable responses to a new type of laser called nano-laser. This is encouraging, given there has been precious little on the horizon for the treatment of dry AMD to-date.
  • Several new drugs are also in development for the treatment of wet AMD, possibly extending the length of time in between injections. The prospect of implantable devices or slow-release drugs hold the promise of one day eliminating the burden of indefinite injections.

These treatments are at various stages of approval and study. Be sure to follow the blog for updates as more comes to light. We will always have the latest and best available treatments at Eastside Eye.

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