Reach for Excellence

Serve a Growing Need: Diagnose & Manage Macular Degeneration

Jan. 4, 2017

Do you know which of your patients are most likely to develop macular degeneration? According to the latest statistics from the National Eye Institute, 89 percent of AMD patients in the U.S. are white, and 65 percent are female.

The graph below from the NEI report is very helpful to understand how AMD affects different races.  Look at how the white race is affected over time. Prior to age 70, the prevalence of AMD is relatively even between the races. After age 70, the prevalence of AMD in the white race begins to increase. For the ages 70-79, prevalence of AMD for whites is double that of other races. By age 80+, prevalence of AMD among whites is seven times greater.

Another helpful table from the NEI report is the projection of AMD over time. You can see from the NEI graphic below the projections of AMD for 2050 is that the numbers more than double. Even though white Americans are projected to account for the majority of AMD cases over time, there will be a six times rise in the number of expected cases among Hispanics from 2010 to 2050.

Currently, there is no cure for AMD, however, early detection and treatment may delay or reduce the severity of the condition. Since the prevalence of AMD is going to increase for all races, it’s important to stay current with AMD. Assess what you are doing in your practice with low vision devices and supplements such as:

•    Vitamin C
•    Vitamin E
•    Lutein
•    Zeaxanthin
•    Zinc
•    Copper

There is some controversy about genetic testing and the use of some of the supplements. Are you aware of these issues and have a plan for how you are going to handle AMD in your practice?
It’s equally import to keep up with advances in surgical care such as:

•    Anti-vascular endothelial growth factors drugs
•    Photodynamic laser therapy
•    Laser therapy

Take this week to review your AMD protocols for screening, diagnosis and treatment.

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