An eye drop treatment for macular degeneration is being tested at the Methodist Hospital in Houston. Two types of eye drops are being tested – one as a wet macular degeneration treatment and the other for dry macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60. With the eye disease attacking the center portion of the eye known as the macula, central vision is generally lost. Depending on the type of macular degeneration a person is diagnosed with, treatment options vary.
Up until the testing of these eye drops for macular degeneration, typical treatment involved a series of drug injections into the affected eye for wet macular degeneration. These drugs known as anti-VEGF drugts, are injected directly into the eye affected with the eye disease.
The macular degeneration eye drops being developed are known as TG100801 and is considered a topical drug. Administered directly into the eye via eye drops, this drug is designed to reduce inflammation and blocks the abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage associated with wet macular degeneration. This drug is currently in Phase II clinical trials and whether it will be a viable treatment for wet macular degeneration will not be known for up to two years.
With no known treatment for dry macular degeneration, having an eye drop treatment for this eye disease would be a major advancement.
Current treatment for dry macular degeneration has been antioxidants and dietary supplements. The new eye drop treatment for dry macular degeneration is hydergine.
Considered an antioxidant, hydergine would be administered in the form of drops three to four times a day for those patients diagnosed with dry macular degeneration. Researchers believe that this eye drop treatment for macular degeneration will help aging retinal cells by reducing the oxidative stresses on the eye. It is hoped that the direct application of the eye drops into the eye will have more direct impact on the causes of dry macular degeneration.
The development of eye drops for macular degeneration provides patients unable to take injections in the eye hope at saving their vision. It also provides hope for patients currently suffering from dry macular degeneration who have little treatment options available.