A special kind of laser therapy can stop leakage from abnormal blood vessels growing under the retina in cases of wet AMD, thus slowing the rate of vision loss, with much less damage to surrounding tissues than conventional laser therapy. The therapy uses the intravenous injection of a light-sensitive dye called verteporfin (Visudyne), which circulates through the bloodstream and, when activated by a laser, sticks to the inside surfaces of the new blood vessels to shrink them and stop leakage. The treatment is repeated three to five times over one to two years to stop the leaking.
Photodynamic therapy will not guarantee that abnormal vessel growth will stop for good. But it prevents additional vision loss in about 65 percent of patients and brings about some improvement in the vision of about 15 percent.
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