Top Q&A Tips from Patients and Caregivers
When managing a chronic, degenerative condition like wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), it is important to keep an open line of communication with your eye doctors. In addition to setting up treatment visits based on your doctor’s recommendation, and helping him or her track the progression of your disease, you may also want to check in periodically to understand more about options for managing the fluid your doctors will monitor.
Please remember, you aren’t alone. Wet AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss and legal blindness in people over the age of 65 in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia1.
Here are some questions frequently asked by people living with wet AMD, along with answers.
Q: What is age-related wet macular degeneration or wet AMD?
A. Wet age-related macular degeneration or wet AMD (also known as neovascular AMD, or nAMD) is an eye disease that damages a portion of the retina called the macula2. The macula is located in a region near the back of the eye and is necessary for sharp vision2. Wet AMD leads to a loss of central vision and the ability to see things directly ahead2.
Q: How often will I need treatment?
A. Frequency depends on how you respond to your anti-VEGF treatment, but you will most likely need several injections each year to manage your wet AMD3,4.
Q: What happens if I miss a scheduled appointment?
A: Try to make a new appointment as soon as possible to stay on your treatment schedule.
Q: What if my vision gets worse between appointments?
A: Let your eye doctor know as soon as possible if you think your vision is deteriorating.
Q: Is there a cure for wet AMD?
A. Currently, a cure does not exist. Talk to your doctor about how treatment may help manage wet AMD.
Q: How is progression monitored?
A. You can keep track of how your vision changes between eye doctor’s visits with an Amsler grid. Ask your eyecare professional where you can source an Amsler Grid. If you notice your vision deteriorating, make an appointment with your eye doctor immediately. During appointments, your eye doctor will use OCT scan to take images of the back of your eye and measure fluid levels.
Q: Besides keeping my scheduled treatment appointments, is there anything I can do to slow the progression of wet AMD?
A: If you smoke, you should strongly consider quitting. Also, your doctor may advise you to take certain vitamins and maintain a healthy diet.
Q: Wet AMD is making it hard to maintain my independence. Where can I get help?
A: Click here to read our tips for building a support network for wet AMD patients.
Schmidt-Erfurth U, et al. Guidelines for the management of neovascular age-related macular degeneration by the European Society of Retina Specialists (EURETINA). Br J Ophthalmol. 2014; 98:1144-1167.
National Eye Institute. Facts about Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Available at https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts (link is external). Accessed August 2019.
Wykoff CC et al. Optimizing Anti-VEGF Treatment Outcomes for Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy. 2018; 24(2-a Suppl):S3-S15.
Mantel I. Optimizing the Anti-VEGF Treatment Strategy for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: From Clinical Trials to Real-Life Requirements. Translational Vision Science & Technology. 2015; 4(3):6.