06 May 2013 | Analysis | By BioSpectrum Bureau
Singapore: The number of Australians with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is expected to grow to over 1.7 million by 2030, yet many patients do not currently receive timely care.
The treatment window for wet AMD is relatively short, so any delay in treatment can mean the difference between retaining vision and developing blindness.
New therapies and diagnostic techniques have produced a paradigm shift in the diagnosis and treatment of wet AMD, specifically antiangiogenesis therapy and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).
These techniques, along with early diagnosis, can prevent, slow, and, in some cases, even reverse vision loss. However, affordability has been a barrier for Australian patients, rendering a need for greater access to treatment.
"Wet AMD is a silent epidemic of the aging global population," commented Dr William Li, president, Angiogenesis Foundation. "Helping the elderly preserve their vision through effective use of antiangiogenic treatments is an important way to ensure a high quality of life."