Awareness of the development of age-related macular degeneration has been increasing slowly with the recognition of the advancing age of the population.
Part of the misconception about AMD is that many people have seen friends and family lose vision from the disease and the assumptions are that this is the result of the absence of available treatments, which is no longer the case, as well as a natural result of aging.
“These reasons could not be further from the truth," he said. "It is not normal to lose vision with aging in the absence of an associated condition, and many new treatments for AMD have become available in the past decade that allow patients to live productive lives after diagnosis because of the treatments.”
The AAO recommendation is that everyone should have a dilated eye examination annually starting at age 40; individuals over age 65 with otherwise healthy eyes should have an examination every 1 to 2 years or at time points recommended by the individual’s ophthalmologist or optometrist.
Numerous organizations and industry are involved in educating the public about the dangers of AMD and their own methods of disseminating information via press releases, television advertisements and the like. In addition to Prevent Blindness, a volunteer organization dedicated to preserving vision, and the AAO, others include the National Eye Institute, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Bausch + Lomb, and CooperVision to name only a few.
“The more people who become aware of the inherent dangers of untreated AMD, the better the chances are of saving vision. This starts not only with physicians but also patients and the general public as well,” Dr. Khurana said.
Rahul N. Khurana, MD
Dr. Khurana did not indicate any proprietary interests relative to the subject matter.