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HealthInfo Canterbury

Treating macular degeneration

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There are no medical treatments for dry macular degeneration, but you can get injections for wet macular degeneration.

eye injectionMedicines (such as Avastin and Lucentis) are injected into your eye to slow or stop the growth of new leaky blood vessels.

Before the injection, your eye will be numbed with local anaesthetic eye drops. It's quick and painless and is usually done in your eye specialist's (ophthalmologist's) rooms.

This doesn't cure macular degeneration but stabilises your vision and helps you to keep the best vision for as long as possible. Some people find their vision improves.

Usually, you start with monthly injections for three months. To make sure you keep good vision for as long as possible, you need to have regular injections and monitor your vision in between injections.

This video from the Canterbury DHB Eye Outpatients Department shows a patient's experience with eye injections. The video shows a person having injections in their eyes and some people might find this disturbing.

You might need to have the injections indefinitely. Your eye specialist will talk to you about how often you should have them.

If your vision changes suddenly, tell your eye specialist as soon as possible rather than waiting until the next appointment.

On the next page: Self-care for macular degeneration

Written by Canterbury optometrists. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2019.

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Page reference: 121321

Review key: HIMAD-121270