Managing Macular Degeneration
PORTLAND, Ore. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Ten million Americans have macular degeneration. It is the leading cause of blindness for older Americans. A new treatment for the most severe type of the disease - the wet form - may be just around the corner.
See the blurry spot in this picture? That’s how things look to many people with macular degeneration. If untreated, a dark spot eventually blocks the central vision. It happens in the retina.
“It’s not a part of the eye you can see. It’s on the inside of the eye, and it’s much like wallpaper that lines the inside of a room. The retina lines the inside of the eye,” ophthalmologist Andreas Lauer, M.D., of the Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland tells Ivanhoe.
At the very center of the retina, blood vessels grow rapidly, causing scarring and vision loss. DeWayne Franz was diagnosed five years ago with wet macular degeneration. “I lost my ability to read the newspaper and things like that," he says. "That’s when I knew I was in trouble.”
Dr. Lauer says there’s only one comparable treatment available now - a combination drug and laser therapy requiring patients to avoid light for several days - something they won’t need to worry about with Macugen.
This treatment is only for the wet form of the disease, which is the most severe form. About 1.5 million have this form. Dr. Lauer says that 21 of the nearly 1,200 patients in the trial developed eye infections, cataracts, or a detachment of the retina.
To help make life easier with macular degeneration, ActiveForever has found an outstanding new magnifier called the Quicklook. The Quicklook helps you read fine print on medicine labels, food packages, contracts or even read what you are writing, the QuickLook Portable Video Magnifier is the perfect companion for those with macular degeneration. This handy new gadget enables you to magnify anything you are trying to read! According to a recent article in the New York Times, "the Quicklook has enabled people whose vision has deteriorated from macular degeneration, to see letters clearly." Learn more.
This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.