By Dr. Joshua Mali
The short answer is not yet.
However, I am very optimistic that we will have a cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the future. The goal of the cure two-fold: (1) try and prevent AMD from occurring in the first place and (2) cure wet AMD.
Currently, the key strategy for dry AMD is to utilize AREDS2 vitamins for moderate/advanced dry AMD, lifestyle modifications (including stopping smoking, eating a good diet, and getting moderate exercise), and using the ForeseeHome device or Amsler grid for home monitoring.
Our current treatment approach for wet AMD is treatment with anti-VEGF medications including Lucentis, Beovu, Eylea, and Avastin. While these treatments are technically not “cures”, they are fantastic medications that are able to treat wet AMD tremendously and save vision in our wet AMD patients. I have had amazing success with these eye injection treatments for my patients and they have become the standard of care for treatment of wet AMD.
I am very optimistic that we will have even more treatments available including better ways to deliver anti-VEGF injection treatments through long-acting drug delivery systems and medications that target different chemical factors in wet AMD that will achieve even better results.
Overall, while there is not a cure yet, the future is bright for the eventual cure of this disease. Through the help of clinical innovation, cutting edge technology, and ingenuity of pharmaceutical companies and medical scientists, we will achieve this victory for our AMD patients to give them the best possible vision to live their lives to the fullest.
Joshua Mali, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist and award-winning vitreoretinal surgeon at The Eye Associates, a private multi-specialty ophthalmology practice in Sarasota, Florida. He is the Retina Medical Director of the Macular Degeneration Association (MDA).