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Ocular photodynamic therapy (OPT) is a relatively new treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). OPT involves the infusion of an intravenous, photosensitizing drug followed by exposure to a laser. The drug seeks out the abnormal vessels that are characteristic of AMD. The doctor then targets the vessels with a laser that activates the drug, setting in motion a chemical reaction that seals off the vessels and causes them to regress. OCT is not a cure. At best, it arrests further impairment of vision. Multiple sessions are often necessary for desired results.
OPT was approved by the FDA in 2000. OPT treatment has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of extrafoveal neovascularization and in selected cases of subfoveal neovascularization caused by age-related macular degeneration. It is effective when the area of classic choroid neovasularization occupies 50% or more of the entire lesion.