New test for age-related macular degeneration could help identify the disease sooner
By: Dr. Victor Marchione
Getting older is often characterized by graying hair, more free time, and living your life in relative ease at your golden years. But getting older also means that your health is more delicate, as your body is unable to maintain itself as it once did. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years and older. New test for age-related macular degeneration could help identify the disease sooner.
As the name suggests, the main reason for its occurrence is simply growing older. This often leads older individuals to lose their central vision, with peripheral vision often spared. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition, with treatment being the only solace for affected individuals.
However, new research suggests that AMD could possibly be recognized with special laboratory tests using a technique called “metabolomics,” which can help identify blood profiles and level of severity.
The researchers believe that this new technique could lead to earlier detection of AMD, improved prognosis assessment, and even provide precise treatment for patients.
Painless vision loss
There are two recognized forms of AMD: wet (neovascular or exudative) and dry (atrophic). Both carry the risk of vision loss but develop in different ways.
Dry AMD occurs due to the development of tiny protein clumps called drusen, while wet AMD results from the development of abnormal blood vessels that lead to scarring of the macula. Though rarer than its “dry” counterpart, “wet” AMD leads to faster deterioration of central vision.
The current treatment for wet AMD involves the utilization of a medication called anti-vascular endothelial growth factor. This drug helps reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels within the retina. The problem arises with its method of use, as wet AMD patients require frequent and unpleasant needle injections directly into the eye itself. Ironically, this procedure also carries a risk of blindness….
Source: Bel Marra Health