Age-Related Macular Degeneration

by MichelleR on July 30, 2012

This world surrounds us with vibrancy and an array of colors; imagine experiencing the world in color your entire life and then you start noticing that the colors are fading and the “lights are going out”. It can be extremely upsetting and challenging not being able to see as sharply as you were able to once before.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness among American’s 65 and older. With seniors being an increasingly larger percentage of the general population, this is a growing problem. About 1.7 million U.S. residents currently have advanced age-related macular degeneration- this number is expected to grow to almost 3 million by 2020 (Archives of Ophthalmology, April 2004). There is good news; age related macular degeneration is responding favorably to two new medications.

• A study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, concluded the two widely used treatment drugs – Avastin (bevacizumab) and Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) – are both effective in producing “a robust and lasting improvement in vision.”
• Avastin and Lucentis improve vision when administered monthly or on an as-needed basis, although greater improvements in vision were seen with monthly administration for the common eye disease.
• “The dramatic and lasting improvement in vision with these two drugs is extraordinary. At two years, two-thirds of patients had driving vision. With previous treatments, only 15 percent of patients retained similar visual acuity,” said Maureen Maguire, Ph.D., principal investigator, CATT Coordinating Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Below are a couple visuals to help you understand what people with macular degeneration see

AMD affects sharp and central vision

 

What are some ways you have helped your loved ones cope with this debilitating condition?

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