Early diagnosis, treatment of AMD essential for lifelong healthy vision

April 16, 2013

Vision loss in relation to eye disease and treatment response was tracked in nearly 5,000 patients over 20 years.

 

San Francisco-Despite the recent discovery of sight-saving drugs and advances in disease prevention, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) still causes vision loss in approximately 15% of Americans aged 85 and older, according to a study published recently in Ophthalmology.

The Beaver Dam Eye Study tracked vision loss in relation to eye disease and treatment response in nearly 5,000 patients over a 20-year period.

“This study paints a clearer picture of key threats to older Americans’ vision, such as AMD,” said Ronald Klein, MD, lead researcher for the study conducted at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison. “It is especially relevant for healthcare planners, who face a tripling of the elderly population in the U.S. More people than ever will live into their seventh, eighth, or ninth decades, the very years when they’ll be most vulnerable to age-related eye diseases.”

Healthy vision is essential to seniors’ ability to enjoy a good quality of life. From maintaining the ability to read and drive to reducing the risk of injury from falls and other accidents, keeping eyes healthy into advanced age is crucial.