Laser therapy improves vision in patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration

Low-level laser therapy improves vision in patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration.

Researchers at University of Heidelberg, Germany have conducted a clinical trial on 203 patients with AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and improved visual acuity for between 3 and 36 months.

Abstract Objective: The objective of this study of a case series was to examine the effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Background Data: AMD affects a large proportion of the elderly population; current therapeutic options for AMD are limited, however. Patients and Methods: In total, 203 patients (90 men and 113 women; mean age 63.4 +/- 5.3 y) with beginning (“dry”) or advanced (“wet”) forms of AMD (n = 348 eyes) were included in the study. One hundred ninety-three patients (mean age 64.6 +/- 4.3 y; n = 328 eyes) with cataracts (n = 182 eyes) or without cataracts (n = 146 eyes) were treated using LLLT four times (twice per week). A semiconductor laser diode (780 nm, 7.5 mW, 292 Hz, continuous emission) was used for transconjunctival irradiation of the macula for 40 sec (0.3 J/cm(2)) resulting in a total dose of 1.2 J/cm(2). Ten patients (n = 20 eyes) with AMD received mock treatment and served as controls. Visual acuity was measured at each visit. Data were analyzed retrospectively using a t-test. Results: LLLT significantly improved visual acuity (p < 0.00001 versus baseline) in 162/182 (95%) of eyes with cataracts and 142/146 (97%) of eyes without cataracts. The prevalence of metamorphopsia, scotoma, and dyschromatopsia was reduced. In patients with wet AMD, edema and bleeding improved. The improved vision was maintained for 3-36 mo after treatment. Visual acuity in the control group remained unchanged. No adverse effects were observed in those undergoing therapy. Conclusion: In patients with AMD, LLLT significantly improved visual acuity without adverse side effects and may thus help to prevent loss of vision.

Photomed Laser Surg 2008 Jun 26(3) 241-5

The laser parameters used were well chosen, perhaps a little less intensity and longer treatment time might have been better. I would have been happier using an LED myself. Lower risk and a broader beam. Here at THOR we have been experimenting with treating inflammation and itching around the eyes associated with hay fever with a high degree of success. I met ophthalmologists at NAALT in June treating various eye diseases too. This seems to the year of LLLT for eye diseases.

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2 Responses to Laser therapy improves vision in patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration

  1. Dr. Mulliken says:

    Hello there–I have a 59 yo white male diagnosed with Stargardt’s (juvenile Macular Degeneration variant). He has done incredibly well in his life but is noticing a decrease in central vision at this time. He has been closely followed by his Ophthalmologist at Mass Eye and Ear (part of Mass General Hospital) here in the United States. Is this condition close enough to AMD that he can be considered for LLLT?

    Thank you!

    Dr. Scott Mulliken

    • Scott

      the short answer is yes

      We have been asked this question before

      Below is the advice I got from our favourite LLLT ophthalmologist

      ———- Forwarded message ———-
      From: rdotson
      Date: 2 August 2014 at 17:05
      Subject: Re: Light therapy for Stargardt??
      To: James Carroll

      As you probably know, Stargardt’s is a form of hereditary macular degeneration caused by a gene miscoding. This leads to a build up of metabolic waste products in the macula that is associated with reduced ATP production. Theoretically, the use of light should help with this as it does in ARMD, so I would try it. They have nothing to lose from trying this, as their is no other good treatment right now. If I had this, I would treat myself.

      General health issues: she should be on a good multi-vitamin, at least 10,000 units of D3 a day, K2, B complex with B12, and Vit. C (would take, Lyposperic-C every day). 2-3 L/day of good water (invest in a decent water filter), etc. Try to stay with organic locally grown food…

      I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me with more questions.

      Robert S Dotson, MD
      865-607-2014 cell

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