Macular degeneration has many treatments, none of which are 100 percent successful as of 2009. Researchers are discovering breakthrough gene therapy treatments that hold much promise for those with macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration has two types: wet and dry. Currently, there are no effective treatments for people with dry macular degeneration.
Lucentis, a drug that has been available since 2008, is the only medication that improves vision after macular degeneration. The drug is injected into the eyeball under local anesthesia and may help maintain the patient's vision for at least one year.
Macugen is another breakthrough treatment for macular degeneration. It works by halting the growth of new blood vessels in the eye that can damage vision. Macugen can slow, but not halt, the onset of blindness.
Photodynamic therapy is a breakthrough treatment for macular degeneration. A drug named verteporfin is injected into the patient's arm. It then concentrates in the eye and is activated when the doctor focuses a laser light at the eye.
Researchers have discovered a protein in the body that, when activated, can halt the growth of leaky blood vessels in the eye. As of 2009, this procedure has been tested only on mice.