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Age-related macular degeneration leading cause of vision loss

As I meet senior across the Las Vegas valley, I’ve become more aware of sight issues facing seniors. Sight issues can develop from macular degeneration as well as diabetes. Little can be done for those suffering from loss of sight due to diabetes but macular degeneration can be controlled to a certain degree. The following is an article worth reading about AMD. ~ Favil West, Chair, Foundation Assisting Seniors

(Photo courtesy of sciencebasedmedicine.org)

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter
FRIDAY, Feb. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Missing just one eye doctor appointment can result in vision loss in older adults with macular degeneration, a new study warns.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in the elderly, and these findings show the need for patients to keep all scheduled appointments with an ophthalmologist, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers said.

For the study, the investigators analyzed data from nearly 1,200 AMD patients across the United States who were part of a two-year clinical trial of anti-VEGF (intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor) treatment. It involves injections into the eye by a doctor.

The study found that patients who missed scheduled appointments had greater declines in vision, with each missed visit associated with an average visual acuity letter score decline of 0.7.

Compared to patients who made all visits, those who averaged 36 to 60 days between visits lost 6.1 letters, and those who went more than 60 days between visits lost 12.5 letters, according to the study published online Feb. 6 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

These findings show the need to “reframe” how doctors think about treating AMD patients, said study author Dr. Brian VanderBeek, a professor of ophthalmology.

“Let’s worry less about predicting a specific number of injections a patient needs and more about getting them into the doctor’s office,” he said in a university news release.

AMD is the leading cause of permanent vision loss among Americans over age 50. About 1.8 million people in the United States have AMD and another 7.3 million are at risk for the disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More information: The U.S. National Eye Institute has more on age-related macular degeneration.
Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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