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Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and other retinal disorders and cannot be used to treat dry AMD. It may be recommended if you are unable to have injections of medicines as a treatment for your AMD.

How does it work?

A light-sensitive medicine called verteporfin (Visudyne) is injected into the bloodstream. The medicine gathers in the abnormal blood vessels under the macula. Laser light is then shone into your eye, which activates the medicine and causes it to create blood clots that block the abnormal blood vessels. By sealing the leaky blood vessels, photodynamic therapy slows down central vision loss.


The treatment itself usually takes about 20 minutes and can be completed in Dr El Annan’s office.

The verteporfin medicine used in PDT makes your skin and eyes more sensitive to light. After treatment, avoid direct sunlight for 2 to 5 days. And wear dark sunglasses when you must be outdoors to protect your eyes.

Success of the Treatment?

PDT can lower the risk of severe vision loss by reducing the growth of and leakage from abnormal blood vessels under the retina.

How effective the treatment is works depends on the location and how the abnormal blood vessels are growing beneath the retina.

The effect of this treatment is temporary and only acts to slowing the progress of AMD and after about 3 months the blood vessels will begin leaking again. Most of our patients require multiple treatments to ensure the full benefits of the therapy are realized.

What are the Risks?

A severe loss in clarity of vision happens to some people who are treated with PDT. In some cases, vision partially recovers.


Other side effects include

  • Temporary visual disturbances

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Bleeding

  • Inflammation

To learn more about treatment options or any concerns you may relating to Photodynamic Therapy please schedule a visit with Dr El Annan at the Annan Retina Eye Center. Please call 346-22A-NNAN to speak to a member of staff who will be more than happy to help you.


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