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Growing epidemic of wet AMD ushers in new era in treatment of the disease

Retina specialists and ophthalmologists are encouraged by promising new scientific approaches that could have the potential to reduce the devastating effects of wet AMD for patients and offer the medical community a new paradigm of care, according to presentations made at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in New Orleans.

Many experts consider AMD, the leading cause of blindness in Americans over age 50, as a growing public health epidemic. Diagnoses for AMD are expected to double by 2020.

"The epidemic of AMD is fueled by the aging Baby Boomers, the fact that people are living longer, and the increasing incidence of the disease," said presenter Paul Sternberg Jr., M.D., Chairman of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute. "Fortunately, new approaches to treating the disease may soon become available with several therapies in late-phase clinical trials or pending FDA approval showing great promise for stabilizing wet AMD and preserving vision."

Saving Eyes, Saving Lives: The Physical and Emotional Impact of Vision Loss

AMD is a chronic, progressive disease that results in the loss of central vision. As the disease advances, simple tasks such as reading, writing NEW ORLEANS, LA, October 25, 2004 As more Americans age, the threat of blindness is increasing, and the search for new ways to prevent and treat diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has become a high priority in the eye care community., recognizing faces and driving become difficult, if not impossible. The disease not only takes a physical toll on its patients, but also can have a devastating emotional impact on them, their families and caregivers.

"Even a little vision loss to a fully sighted adult can compromise function more globally than any other impairment, increasing the risk of falls and injuries, medication mix-ups, poor nutrition, social isolation and clinical d
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Contact: Media Relations
media@aao.org
415-561-8534
American Academy of Ophthalmology
25-Oct-2004


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