Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe, irreversible vision loss in people over age 60, and it is growing at an alarming rate all over the world. Your patients may be at risk. Join us in raising awareness of the importance of frequent vision screenings and retinal health checks.
According to a study funded by the U.S. Center of Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 there were as many as 9.1 million people living with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the U.S., and it is estimated that 17.8 million people will have AMD by the year 2050. That’s a 95% increase—8.7 million more people who may be at risk of losing their vision, and they have no idea it's even happening. We can help them. Together, let's educate about AMD, its causes and risk factors, and share simple steps they can take to be proactive about preserving their vision.
It is estimated that 196 million people world-wide will have AMD by the year 2020.
AMD affects central vision.
Adults age 60+ are at a higher risk for developing AMD.
Smoking, family history, unhealthy diet, and in-activity and exposure to sunlight are some of the risk factors for developing AMD.
- AMD causes damage to the macula, the part of the eye that lets us see objects that are straight ahead.
- In some people, AMD advances so slowly that vision loss does not occur for a long time. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes.
- A blurred area near the center of vision is a common symptom of AMD. Objects also may not appear to be as bright as they used to be.
- AMD by itself does not lead to complete blindness. However, the loss of central vision in AMD can interfere with simple everyday activities, such as the ability to see faces, drive, read, write, or do close work, such as cooking or fixing things around the house.
- There is no cure for AMD, but treatment may slow disease and prevents severe loss of vision.
Share this video to help your patients understand how a comprehensive fundus exam can help with AMD diagnosis.
Courtesy: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)
The onset of AMD cannot be prevented, but patients can take proactive steps that may help slow vision loss. Here are a few that doctors recommend:
- Don't smoke. If you smoke, ask your doctor for help to quit.
- Choose a healthy diet. A diet rich in antioxidant vitamins, zinc or healthy unsaturated fats such as olive oil contribute to eye health. Also of value in patients with AMD are diets high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon or walnuts.
- Manage your other medical conditions. Keep a check on other medical conditions like cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure. Take your medication and keep the condition under control with the help of your doctor.
- Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. Exercise regularly and maintain body weight.
- Have routine eye exams. Don't forget to get routine eye exams. Also, ask your doctor about self-assessments that can help identify if your condition develops into wet AMD, which can be treated with drugs.
Contemporary management of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has evolved significantly over the last few years, shifting the goal of treatment from merely salvaging vision to maintaining a high quality of life.
Significant breakthroughs in drug and gene therapies and advanced imaging tools like ZEISS CIRRUS HD-OCT with AngioPlex and ZEISS CLARUS 500 have not only enhanced clinicians' knowledge about pathophysiological mechanisms that play a role in vision loss due to AMD, but these technologies have also provided clinicians with pathways to optimize treatment plans. Learn more how OCT Angiography and True Color ultra-widefield fundus imaging are facilitating the fundamental shift in diagnosis and management of AMD.
Previously, vascular imaging of the retina and choroid was possible only through invasive dye injections using Fluorescein Angiography (FA) and Indocyanine Green Angiography (ICGA). OCT angiography provides a non-invasive method for diagnosing and managing vascular diseases. In this video, David Boyer, MD, discusses the utility of OCTA for identifying choroidal neovascularization in patients with type 1 AMD and gauging the response to anti-VEGF treatment.
The three stages of AMD — early, intermediate and late — are defined in part by the size and number of drusen under the retina, which is visible during a fundus exam in the form of small yellow spots in the macula. True color, ultra-widefield fundus images as obtained on a ZEISS CLARUS 500, allow clinicians to image the retinal periphery and visualize subtle variations in color. Early signs of AMD, such as reticular degeneration and peripheral drusen, are observed in the retinal periphery.
Review the case study to learn more.
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Path-breaking innovations in imaging have provided eye care clinicians valuable tools that are transforming patient care today. Take a look at how Aaron Lech, OD, FAAO, implemented the baseline retinal health check at his practice using these tools.
They say that seeing is believing. The early and intermediate stages of AMD usually start without symptoms. Only a comprehensive eye exam can detect AMD. According to Rixon et. al, “the capacity for proper detection, education and management of AMD is essential for [clinicians], and staying current on the ever-changing body of information surrounding the disease allows for best patient outcomes.”1
By integrating into their practice advanced imaging technologies like OCT Angiography and True Color ultra-widefield Fundus Imaging, clinicians now have ability to manage AMD quicker and more efficiently.
CIRRUS OCT with AngioPlex allows for the visualization of both vascular and structural information from a single, non-invasive scan, making visualization of microvasculature of the retina a routine part of everyday care.
Our next generation HD ultra-widefield fundus imaging from ZEISS is the first system to provide true color and clarity in an ultra-wide field of view—from the posterior pole to the far periphery.
The ZEISS Retina Workplace is a fully interactive multimodality software solution that combines exam data from your OCT and fundus camera across three visits on one screen.
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Jordan, Serena. Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050. But newer treatments could reduce related blindness by 35%. HealthDay. USNews.com/Health. 4/2009.
Rixon, A., OD, Trevino, R., OD, and Attar, R., OD. “Arm Yourself for Dry AMD”. Review of Optometry. January 2017
Rubio RG, Adamis AP. Ocular angiogenesis: vascular endothelial growth factor and other factors. Developments in Opthalmology Retinal Pharmacotherapeutics. 2016;55:28-37.