March is AMD Awareness Month

Written By: | March 19, 2012

Age-related macular degeneration is now a disease in plain sight.  Thanks to public service announcements, increased news coverage, and Academy Award winning actresses coming forward to speak about their disease, AMD awareness has never been higher.   However, I would like to use this blog to educate patients on the 4 latest developments in managing and treating patients with AMD.  #1:  Genetic testing for AMD.  A simple swab of saliva from the inside of the cheek can reveal whether or not an individual carries the “bad” genes for developing wet AMD after age 60.  #2:  Early detection with the Foresee Home Device.  For patients genetically at risk for wet AMD, an FDA-approved, sophisticated home monitoring device (not unlike a computerized Amsler grid) can be used to detect conversion from dry to wet AMD and allow for early treatment with anti-VEGF injections.  #3:  Eylea injections.  This is the newest FDA-approved treatment for exudative AMD.  In clinical trials Eylea was shown to be effective when given every 8 weeks compared to Lucentis given every 4 weeks.  This ushers in the possibility of half as many office visits and injections for patients.  #4:  The implantable miniature telescope.  For select patients with untreatable dry AMD and select patients with advanced wet AMD who never received or failed anti-VEGF injections, the implantable miniature telescope offers the chance to regain reading vision.  These four advances represent state-of-the-art management in AMD.  The Retina Service at the Pepose Vision Institute is currently the only place in St. Louis where all of them are being used on a daily basis to help patients.

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