The macula is the small, specialized area of the retina that gives us our straight-ahead reading and driving vision New blood vessel growth beneath the macula (macular neovascularization, MNV) can develop in some patients with otherwise normal eyes. These are called idiopathic MNV. These vessels cause the macula to swell with fluid and blood that can lead to permanent central vision loss. There are many causes of MNV including age-related macular degeneration, angioid streaks, choroidal rupture, degenerative myopia, and ocular histoplasmosis. Fluorescein angiography and OCT scanning help diagnosis the presence of MNV.
Treatment options include:
- VEGF inhibitors. Avastin, Lucentis, and Eylea belong to a new class of potent medications, VEGF inhibitors, that prevent MNV from growing and leaking. They have been extensively studied in patients with age-related macular degeneration, and are also highly effective in idiopathic MNV. Click here to learn more.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT). PDT is sometimes used as a combined treatment with VEGF inhibitors to decrease the number of injections.
- Thermal laser photocoagulation. For MNV well away from the macular center, thermal laser can be used as a combined treatment with VEGF inhibitors to decrease the number of injections.