(http://www.MacularDegenerations.com) Researchers in Georgia have come up with an improved method of treating ailments that impact the back of the eye, reported Yahoo! News on 24 July.
According to the article, the advancement could provide more relief to people who are currently dealing with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye-related ailment that can ultimately lead to blindness.
The article noted that the research team, composed of scientists affiliated with Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, created so-called micro-needles that are under one millimeter in length. The article cited Newswise as saying that studies conducted on animals showed that these special needles are able to transmit medication to remote parts of the eye.
What the micro-needles do is permit injections of small doses of medication into parts of the eye. The medication is then directed to behind the eye. The article noted that the micro-needles could ultimately result in another way to use of drugs that, traditionally, have only been injected via a regular hypodermic needle.
According to the article, eye-related ailments like AMD will become more and more common as populations get older. People diagnosed with AMD have only a couple of options, those being getting special eye drops or receiving injections directly into their eyes.
Meanwhile, the article noted that AMD has two forms. There is the dry form of AMD, which causes center-vision loss and the wet form of AMD, which is caused by blood-vessel leakage at the rear of the eye. According to the article, dry AMD accounts for approximately 90% of all AMD cases. The article noted that AMD usually impacts people after they reach their 50th year.
Right now, there are no options available to cure dry AMD. However, antioxidant- and zinc-infused supplements could help to delay the ailment’s progression. Treatment to address wet AMD focuses on delaying its progress. This includes injections into the eye, photodynamic treatment to kill new blood vessels and — as a last resort — the more risky treatment of laser treatments to kill new vessels.
People with dry AMD should make an appointment to see an ophthalmologist a number of times per year and get recommended eye mapping and exams, according to the article.