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How is wet macular degeneration treated?

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Medications, photodynamic therapy and laser therapy are common treatments for wet macular degeneration as of late 2015, according to Mayo Clinic. Macular degeneration can't be cured, but treatment can slow its progress. Slowing the disease's progress also slows the vision loss associated with macular degeneration.

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Almost always, the first line of treatment for wet macular degeneration is medication, explains Mayo Clinic. The medication blocks the generation of new, abnormal blood vessel growth associated with the condition. The doctor injects the medication directly into the eye every four weeks or so.

The benefit of medication is that some patients may regain some vision they've lost, reports Mayo Clinic. Sometimes, retina cells can regain some function once blood vessels shrink. One downside is that some of these medications can lead to increased risk of stroke.

Photodynamic therapy requires the doctor to inject a special medication in the patient's arm that closes off blood vessels in the eye when a special laser light activates it. The procedure may improve vision but may need to be repeated over time, notes Mayo Clinic. After the procedure, doctors instruct patients to avoid the sun for several days while the medication is still in their system.

A few patients with macular degeneration are candidates for laser therapy, says Mayo Clinic. The laser destroys abnormal blood vessels under the macula.

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