Eye Drop Treatment & Macular Degeneration

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Eye Drop Treatment & Macular Degeneration

Baltimore Ophthalmologist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. shared some thoughts and information about some possible eye drop treatments for macular degeneration. “We have been so fortunate to be able to treat “wet” macular degeneration with vascular endothelial growth inhibitor (VEGF) injections such as Lucentis®. With regular eye exams and early detection and diagnosis this has made a huge impact on so many people and their quality of life,” commented Dr. Spagnolo. “However, 85% or so of the cases of macular degeneration that we diagnose are “dry” macular degeneration and thus it would be significant if we could find some form of treatment for this type as well. Although we don’t fully understand the exact cause of “dry” AMD, we know that it tends to progress more slowly than the “wet” type and is characterized by the appearance of small white or yellowish deposits, called drusen, form on the retina, beneath the macula, causing it to deteriorate or degenerate over time. The most likely cause is a diminished blood flow in the blood vessels of choroid-a tissue beneath the retina that supplies it with oxygen and nutrients,” Dr. Spagnolo explained.

The FDA has facilitated a “fast track” approach and testing of an experimental eye drop that has an active ingredient that has been approved and used in an oral formulation to treat hypertension. It is thought that these new eye drops may act to increase choroidal blood flow and circulation and thus slow or stop the progression of AMD from the early stage (dry AMD) to the later stage (wet AMD) by increasing the blood flow in the eye's choroidal vessels. Thus far the early clinical studies show that the drug is safe for use in human subjects and is now being tested to determine if it can be an effective treatment for dry AMD by increasing choroidal blood flow.

“We are continually reviewing the research, the publications and the FDA clinical trials to find better ways to take care of our patients-it’s just part of being a good physician and our patients depend on us. More to come regarding “dry” macular eye drop treatment as soon as we have the data and information,” said Dr. Spagnolo.

If you or someone you know suffers from dry macular degeneration or is concerned about dry macular degeneration,  they are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter, so that we can recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.