By Hallie Peilet

SARASOTA – The Eye Associates Retina Specialist Dr. Joshua Mali says AMD is not rare.

“It’s probably the most common diagnosis I see here in my practice,” Dr. Mali said.

He says about three million Americans have had vision loss from AMD, which develops as retina tissues break down over time. Larry Hoffheimer says with genetics as a risk factor, he saw it coming after his mom was diagnosed.

“She lost her central vision,” Hoffheimer said.

He was so passionate about spreading AMD awareness that he founded the Macular Degeneration Association. Luckily, a lot has changed in AMD treatment.

“Over a decade ago, we didn’t have any great treatments for this condition,” Dr. Mali said, “but now we’re so lucky to have excellent injectable eye treatments that are very effective at saving people’s vision.”

Hoffheimer says he’s probably had 50 of these injections for his Wet AMD, where there’s bleeding inside the eye.

“Injectable medications help to shrink the blood vessel over time and stop the bleeding,” Dr. Mali said. 

“My vision’s been fine ever since,” Hoffheimer said.

Dr. Mali says other risk factors are age and smoking. He says if you experience any kind of change in eyesight, go see your eye doctor.

The Macular Degeneration Association is holding a free awareness symposium Sat., August 3 at Parkinson Place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Call 1-855-962-2852 to reserve your seat.

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