published Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Ask a doctor: Have there been advances in treatments for age-related macular degeneration?

Dr. Francis C. DeCroos

Q: Have there been any advances in treatments for patients with age-related macular degeneration

A: Age-related macular degeneration affects over 11 million Americans today, and the number is only expected to increase as the population ages. Recently, a new technology has been scientifically proven to dramatically increase the early detection of a sub-type of visually threatening degeneration. This FDA-approved device is used in the home to monitor the health of the retina, the part of the eye typically affected by degeneration. The home examination takes about five minutes per eye and should be used at least twice weekly. The results of the home monitoring device are sent by cellphone to a central database that can be monitored by the patient's physician. Prior to this device, the rate of early detection of this type of degeneration ranged from 15 to 25 percent. In contrast, the device has demonstrated a rate of early disease detection between 87 to 94 percent.

— Dr. Francis C. DeCroos, Southeastern Retina Associates; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

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