New Treatment Options For Macular Degeneration
Making sure we maintain our health for as long as possible takes a variety of forms. For most of us this typically includes eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. These positive habits go a long way towards maintaining our long term health. They aren’t foolproof guards against everything though. Various conditions creep in with age that a healthy lifestyle can only help minimize the chance of instead of fully guarding against them. Macular degeneration is a good example of this. This sudden and swift loss of eyesight tends to affect those of us in our more mature years and can make it much harder to live our lives without aid. Fortunately, there are treatment options for the condition and people continue to try to improve upon these treatments and create new ones. We’re going to take a quick look at the current options for treatment as well as some of the cutting edge options that either are or may soon be available to the public as a means of stopping the progression of macular degeneration.
An Uncomfortable Tradition
Macular degeneration is an issue with changes to the structure of the eye gradually destroying your central cone of vision. Treating it involves administering drugs that halt the changes happening in your eye so that the disease doesn’t progress any farther. There have been some surgeries to attempt to repair the damage or slow it, but these have often had mixed results. As a result, the most common treatment has been through the injection of targeted drugs. The most effective forms of these treatments have involved semi-regular injections directly into the offending eye for several years. This does stop the progression of the disease, but also leads to soreness and other potential issues for the eye over the long term. Finding better methods of treatment for macular degeneration is almost necessarily a goal for many professionals due to this fact. The exact compounds used have varied, but the general treatments have remained the same over time. That may be changing.
A Promising Option
The idea of eye injections is enough to give almost anyone pause, but what about eye drops? Scientists in the United Kingdom may have discovered a way of bypassing the need for a needle in administering the drugs commonly used to treat macular degeneration. They chose to combine the treatment drugs with a compound that allows other compounds to achieve a greater depth of cell penetration on application. The scientists believed this would be capable of delivering the drug where it needed to go quickly, effectively, and reduce the overall need for professionals to be involved in treating the problem. The end results appear to indicate that their tests were successful and there was no difference in effectiveness between the eye drops and those receiving treatment through direct injections. These results are still relatively new, but it holds great promise for the near future of treatment for macular degeneration. There is another method of treatment that may see use in the future as well.
Replacing the Problem
One of the key problems with confronting macular degeneration is that simple fact that it is often erroneous growth leading to the problem though it can also be caused by unwelcome deposits in the eye as well. Both forms lead to many of the same problems with vision though. Surgery has become viewed increasingly as one of the better chances for actually reversing the damage done even though methods for doing this are still relatively experimental. A current one has involved extracting and growing specialized cells to replace damaged ones in the eyes. This was achieved by attaching the cells to another set of connective tissues that was then implanted within the eye. Thus far it appears to have fully stopped the degeneration in at least one patient. There has been no sign of improved vision, but researchers believe that time and further research may provide valuable insights into how to further refine the technique for later broad application of the technique.
Unfortunately, there are still relatively few forms of treatment available for macular degeneration. Taking care of your health and avoiding bad habits like smoking tend to be the best options for anyone hoping to minimize their chance of developing macular degeneration early. Once it has begun, you can discuss treatment options with your doctor and should be able to find an acceptable course of treatment. Treatments may not be painless yet, but there is hope for a safer and better future for everyone who is experiencing and will experience macular degeneration.