The Genetic Factor in Age-Related Vision Loss

Laser Vision Specialists serving Toms River, Brick, Barnegat & Manalapan Township, New Jersey

Age-relatedmacular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in the United States, is a chronic condition in which the portion of the retina responsible for central vision and seeing fine detail deteriorates.  While age, low levels of certain nutrients, exposure to sunlight, cigarette smoking and obesity are all factors in the development of AMD, new studies confirm that genetics also plays a big role.  Brothers and sisters of people with AMD have a three-to-six fold higher risk of developing AMD compared with the general population.  Further research by geneticists may lead to an accurate means of determining an individual’s risk of developing AMD.  Until then, an assessment of risk factors and regular exam must suffice. 

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can help prevent or delay visual progression.  Preventative eye care is important to everyone because eye conditions and diseases that can destroy you and your family’s vision can strike at any time in life, from newborn to old age.

Glaucoma Treatment Effectiveness

It seems that the potential for irreversible glaucoma-related vision loss can be averted with early diagnosis and treatment.  Recently, two studies show just how effective treatment can be.  One report says that traditional surgery for glaucoma produces far better results than using glaucoma drainage devices.  The second report found that even patients with end stage glaucoma can be successfully treated.  The surgeries reviewed in the first report included primary trabeculectomy (PT), trabeculectomy after scarring from previous surgery or trauma (TS), or the implanting of a glaucoma drainage device (GDD), all of which are designed to improve drainage from the eye and reduce the inner-eye pressure often associated with glaucoma.  For the second study, the effectiveness of laser trabeculectomy was also assessed. 

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States, especially for older people.  But loss of sight from glaucoma is preventable if you get treatment early enough.