What is Photodynamic Therapy (also known as PDT):
Photodynamic therapy is a treatment designed to destroy cancerous and precancerous cells, eye melanomas, and a variety of diseases that include abnormal cell growth. However, the disease we will focus on explaining is age-related (wet) macular degeneration (AMD), an eye condition that can lead to vision loss. AMD comes in two subtypes: dry and wet, but as the abnormal blood vessel growth is only present in the wet type this treatment can be used on this subtype only.
Photodynamic therapy is a two-stage treatment that results in making your eyes and skin more sensitive to light. At the Annan Retina Eye Center, we use a light-sensitive medicine called verteporfin (Visudyne) and inject it 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 and triggers the immune response. However; it’s important to make the distinction that this procedure does not reverse vision loss. We prevent vision loss by reducing the growth of and leakage from abnormal blood vessels under the retina.
This local treatment takes about 20 minutes in our offices and the patient will have light sensitivity that lasts about 5 days post-treatment. After the treatment patients will find themselves extra sensitive to light and are advised to wear sunglasses outdoors. This is a semi-permanent fix for AMD and around the 3-month mark, we will need to re-evaluate the treatment process. If you are asking what is photodynamic therapy, it suggests that you might be due for a visit to the Annan Retina Eye Center.
If you believe you need photodynamic therapy, please schedule a visit with Dr El Annan at the Annan Retina Eye Center. Please call 346-222-6626 to speak to a member of staff who will be more than happy to help you.