Study focuses on macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in older Americans.

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

 THURSDAY, Oct. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) — The severity of age-related macular degeneration in one eye is associated with the risk of developing the disease and its progression in the other eye, a new study finds.

“Macular degeneration is a disease of the retina which damages central vision and can lead to legal blindness, and this disease is more prominent in the geriatric population,” said Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

In fact, age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among Americans 60 and older, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

“Macular degeneration is also a ‘symmetrical’ disease, although one eye may precede the other in the progression of retinal damage and subsequent visual loss,” explained Fromer, who was not connected to the new study.

In the new research, a team led by Ronald Gangnon of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, analyzed data from more than 4,000 participants in the Wisconsin-based Beaver Dam Eye Study. The researchers sought to assess how the severity of age-related macular degeneration in one eye might affect disease risk and progression in the other eye.

They found that disease severity was key: More seriously age-related macular degeneration in one eye was associated with increased risk and more rapid progression of the disease in the other eye……

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Source: Web MD