Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye condition that can lead to vision loss and impairment. There are two main types of AMD: dry AMD and wet AMD. Each type requires different approaches to treatment and management. 

Navigating the treatment options for dry vs. wet age-related macular degeneration is essential for individuals diagnosed with this condition. In this article, we will explore the differences between dry and wet AMD, as well as the various treatment options available for each type.

Understanding Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Dry AMD is the most common form of age-related macular degeneration, accounting for approximately 85-90% of AMD cases. In dry AMD, the macula, which is responsible for central vision, becomes thinner and deposits of drusen (yellowish deposits) accumulate in the retina. 

As the disease progresses, individuals may experience a gradual loss of central vision. Currently, there is no cure for dry AMD, and treatment primarily focuses on managing the condition to prevent further vision loss.

Lifestyle Modifications and Nutritional Supplements

For individuals with dry AMD, lifestyle modifications and nutritional supplements may play a crucial role in managing the condition. Studies have shown that certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin, may help slow the progression of dry AMD. 

Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and not smoking, can contribute to overall eye health and may help slow the progression of the disease.

Monitoring and Regular Eye Exams

Regular monitoring and comprehensive eye exams are essential for individuals with dry AMD. Ophthalmologists and retinal specialists can closely monitor the progression of the condition and assess the status of the macula. By detecting any changes early, healthcare providers can recommend appropriate interventions and treatment strategies to help manage the disease and prevent vision loss.

Understanding Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Wet AMD, also known as neovascular AMD, is less common than dry AMD but accounts for the majority of severe vision loss associated with the disease. In wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak fluid, leading to rapid and severe vision loss if left untreated. Unlike dry AMD, wet AMD requires immediate attention and intervention to prevent irreversible damage to the macula and preserve vision.

Intravitreal Injections

In recent years, intravitreal injections have become a standard treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration. These injections deliver medication directly into the eye to inhibit the growth of abnormal blood vessels and reduce fluid leakage. 

Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs, such as ranibizumab, aflibercept, and bevacizumab, brolucizumab and faricimab are commonly used in intravitreal injections for wet AMD. These injections are typically administered on a regular schedule, often monthly or as determined by the treating ophthalmologist.

Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is another treatment option for wet age-related macular degeneration, although it is less commonly used today due to the widespread adoption of intravitreal injections. 

PDT involves the use of a light-activated medication, verteporfin, which is injected into the bloodstream and selectively absorbed by abnormal blood vessels in the eye. A non-thermal laser is then used to activate the medication, causing damage to the abnormal blood vessels and reducing their leakage.

Navigating Treatment Options

When it comes to navigating treatment options for dry vs. wet age-related macular degeneration, it is essential for individuals to work closely with their ophthalmologist or retinal specialist to develop a personalized treatment plan. The treatment approach will be based on the type and stage of AMD, as well as the individual’s overall health and specific needs. 

Regular communication with the healthcare provider, adherence to the recommended treatment plan, and attending scheduled follow-up appointments are crucial for optimizing the management of AMD and preserving vision.


Navigating treatment options for dry vs. wet age-related macular degeneration requires a comprehensive understanding of the differences between the two types of AMD and the available treatment modalities. 

While dry AMD currently lacks a cure, lifestyle modifications and nutritional supplements, combined with regular monitoring, play a key role in managing the condition. In contrast, wet AMD demands immediate attention and intervention, often involving intravitreal injections, to prevent irreversible vision loss.