It can be observed how popular stem cell therapies are in the headlines for their potential to cure diseases. However, people should not get the wrong idea that it is the solution to all diseases. It is important to emphasize that stem cell therapies are not yet proven to be safe and effective for the eyes. Currently, the only thing that stem cell therapies can offer is hope for people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and Stargardt disease who want to recover their vision.
There are clinics across the United States who offer “stem-cell therapy” to people who are not included in clinical trials. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not give any approval for the treatments they offer. The treatments usually include unproven products that are ineffective or dangerous. It is best to avoid unlicensed clinics because they carry serious risks such as tumor growth.
What Are the Questions to Ask if You Are Considering Stem Cell Therapy?
If you are one of the people who are considering stem cell therapy for eye disease, you must know that there are no approved stem cell products by the FDA for eye disease yet. Only a clinical trial for stem cell therapy is available but not yet completely approved. It is important to discuss it with your ophthalmologist before undergoing the treatment. An unproven or unapproved therapy will not cost you thousands of dollars but your health insurance will not cover the cost of a treatment that is unapproved.
Before you agree to a stem cell treatment, ask yourself the following questions:
● Is there FDA approval for this stem cell treatment?
● Is this stem cell treatment included in the FDA-approved clinical trial?
● Will my health insurance cover the stem cell treatment?
Safety is the top priority in choosing potential treatments. It is difficult and frightening to face loss of vision while waiting for treatment. It is an unacceptable risk to vision and overall health if you choose to undergo an unproven treatment in an unlicensed clinic.
What Are the Possible Alternative Treatments for Eye Disease?
Stem cell therapy is not the only answer. There are certain treatments for eye diseases. Do not only rely on stem cell therapy because it is not proven and approved yet. There may be success stories here and there but it is still yet to undergo due process of various trials and approval. You may discuss with your ophthalmologist the possible treatment alternatives you can consider for your eye condition.