The objective of this study was to examine long-term effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The research was implemented for a period of five years. For LLLT, a He-Ne Laser with continuous emission at 633 nm (0.1 mW/cm2) was used in patients with AMD of all stages (dry to wet exudative forms were included). In total, 33 patients (16 men and 17 women – 66 eyes) with AMD of various stages and a mean age of 68.7 ± 4.2 years were included in the study. Progressive, exudative AMD was diagnosed in 8 eyes. 58 eyes had drusen or were depigmented. Laser radiation was applied transpupillary to the macula for six times for three minutes once in two days; 22 patients with AMD (44 eyes) were randomly selected to receive mock treatment (control group 10 men and 12 women with a mean age of 69.3 ± 4.8 years). The visual acuity was followed for a five-year period. The perimetry and Amsler test were used to screen central scotomas. The fluorescein angiography of AMD and the control groups was examined. The visual acuity remained unchanged in all patients in the control group. There was a statistically significant increase in the visual acuity (p<0.001, end of study versus baseline) for AMD patients for the period of five years after the treatment. The edema and hemorrhage in the patients with progressive, exudative AMD significantly decreased. No side effects were observed during the therapy. The prevalence of metamorphopsia, scotoma in AMD group was reduced.
In conclusion, this study shows that LLLT may be a novel long-lasting therapeutic option for both forms of AMD. It is a highly-effective treatment that results in a long-term improvement of the visual acuity.
K Koev et al 2018 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 992 012061