Normal Amsler Grid appearance.
Appearance of Amsler grid with macular disease.
Note distorted image.
Appearance of Amsler grid with wet AMD.
Note distortion and darkened spot.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of vision loss in persons over 50 years of age world-wide. Millions are affected, and because it is an aging change, AMD is becoming increasingly common as the world population ages.
“Dry” AMD is the earliest stage, and affects everyone with AMD. Most people with dry AMD have good vision on the eye chart, but have increasing difficulty at night and indoors, needing more light and higher contrast (black and white rather than shades of grey) to see well. Severe visual loss with dry AMD is uncommon, and usually occurs when a condition called “geographic atrophy” develops.
“The other day I realized that I was reading the scores at the bottom of the TV screen again. I couldn’t do that before the laser treatment. And the distortion and waviness was gone.” 76 year old woman with dry AMD.
“Wet” AMD is the most common reason people with dry AMD lose vision. This happens when an eye with dry AMD develops scar tissue growth under the center of the retina (called the macula), causing damage that destroys the macula and central, sharp vision. Without macular vision, your ability to read, recognize faces, and drive may be lost.
If you have “dry” AMD, Retinal Protective Therapy TM (RPT) can reduce your risk of developing “wet” AMD. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) showed that vitamins can reduce the risk of visual loss in dry AMD by about 4% per year. Recent studies suggest that RPT can reduce your risk of visual loss by more than 90%, or more, per year. At the same time, RPT improves indoor vision, making it easier to read and watch TV.
Most people with dry AMD keep good vision unless they develop wet AMD. However, some with dry AMD experience rapid and severe loss of central vision due to “wearing out” of the macula, called “geographic atrophy” (GA). Until recently, there has been no treatment for GA. However, RPT reduces the rate of GA progression by 55% per year compared to AREDS vitamins alone. With continued treatment, this advantage increases such that over 3 years, progression is reduced by 83%, etc. RPT does this safely, while also improving indoor vision and reducing the risk of developing wet AMD. SDM RPT is thus the first an only treatment to safely prevent and significantly slow progression of AMD, even the most severe form of dry AMD – geographic atrophy.
If you have “wet” AMD, RPT can help in several important ways. As you know, drugs injected into the eye are the primary treatment for wet AMD. RPT helps these drugs work better. What does this mean? Real-world data indicates that RPT can decrease the number of injections needed by 40% or more. By decreasing the number of injections, RPT can reduce the risks of vision-threatening complications of injections, such as macular atrophy, infection and glaucoma.
Studies have shown that the effects of RPT in AMD tend to wear off and return to pre-treatment levels about 6-9 months after treatment. Therefore, to maintain maximum treatment benefits to minimize your risks of vision loss from AMD, patients with AMD should consider RPT every 3-4 months.