Humor me for a few minutes if you will? I’m going to operate a time machine that goes backward and forward, here goes.
1997 - The beginning of anti-VEGF
The first year anti-VEGF was offered for wet macular degeneration! That’s only 23 years ago! What did those poor people do before this? Well, they soon lost their central vision, that’s what. This is the year Avastin became available and what a game-changer it was and still is. OK, now let’s turn our time machine forward to present day, here goes:
2020 - Four anti-VEGF injections available
Present day. There are now 4 anti-VEGF drugs available for injection to slow leaks or bleeds in those of us with wet macular degeneration. They are:
- Avastin: Avastin was the first anti-VEGF drug that was FDA approved to treat wet AMD.
- Lucentis: Lucentis is the second anti-VEGF drug that was approved.
- Eylea: Eylea is the third anti-VEGF drug that was approved. It was advertised that it could lengthen the time between injections by a few weeks.
- >Beovu: Beovu is the fourth anti-VEGF drug that was approved, it is touted as stretching the time between injections to as much as 12 weeks! And in addition, improving clarity and allowing some patients to read more lines on the eye chart!
I personally have had all of these drugs used for my 60+ eye injections, except for Beovu. I am excited to say I begin treatment with Beovu in the comings weeks and am hopeful, to say the least. OK, now let’s turn our time machine forward 50 years, here goes.
Visual impairment will hopefully be something only your grandchildren read about and glasses and contacts will become obsolete. I'm optimistic about future cures that will come and the restoration of vision for those who have already been affected. Are these outrageous claims? I think not! Ok, now let’s turn our time machine dial back to present day, here goes.
What can we do in the meantime?
Thank you for traveling with me. So where does that leave us now? I would say now is a time to live our best lives and you can help by passing along the gifts of knowledge and support to people who share your condition. We could volunteer for clinical trials, contribute to research and heck, even donate our eyes to science. This is a time of medical miracles and we are fortunate to be here now. I think we are almost like pioneers, you are part of this place and time.
We are in this together
The fact that you are reading this means that you are connected to a like-minded group that is striving for information on our shared condition. MacularDegeneration.net is one of those places, and it is a very good thing that we are all here together!
It has been said, the power of the group is stronger than the power of the individual or no one is smarter than all of us.
Learning from one another
‘However you want to say it, there is strength in numbers and I want to learn from the group, this group. Not only from the experts, but from the patients themselves. This will advance my understanding of this condition far beyond a clinical setting in a doctor's office visit. I’m glad to be here and wish all us pioneers the best!
Do you find it easy to advocate for yourself?