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Can I avoid shots for macular degeneration?
As science and clinical care improve, our understanding of macular degeneration, how to prevent it, and how to treat it improves. Answering questions like, "Can I prevent it or do I have to have shots?" is a little bit like asking, "how we do we solve world hunger?" It's a complicated disorder and there are unique issues for each person.
For patients with "wet" macular degeneration, a substance called VegF causes hemorrhage and inflammation. The only method of treatment at this time is to get a shot in the eye. It sounds hideous and like you, I would prefer to not have this treatment. However, it has saved, preserved, and improved vision for hundreds of thousands of patients. Many of our patients who receive anti-Veg F injections get used to the treatments and don't completely abhor it. However, if they had an alternative like a drop or a pill, they would definitely prefer it.
The injection in the eye provides the medicine right where we need it, at the site of the retina. So far, topical drops and oral medicines are unable to provide the concentration necessary in an effective quantity and run the risk of unpleasant side effects. For now, anti-Veg F has become the mainstay and helps our patients maintain an independent life.