Effects of combination therapies on age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of vision loss in America for people over the age of 60. Due to damage to the retina, symptoms normally include blurred central vision, difficulty reading, and seeing shadows. While there is no cure for the disease, there are treatments that slow its progression and can restore vision. The treatments explored in this paper are: anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs, photodynamic therapy (PDT) and steroids. All three require invasive eye procedures that carry their own risks. The possibility of more effective treatments by combining these therapies is being tested through clinical trials. Studies of combined PDT and anti-VEGF, combined PDT and steroids, and anti-VEGF monotherapy were reviewed, comparing changes in average visual acuity, foveal thickness, and number of injections administered. PDT and anti-VEGF was concluded to be the most efficient of the three, requiring fewer injections while showing an increase in visual acuity similar to anti-VEGF monotherapy.
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