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30% of patients in their 70s with wet Age-related Macular Degeneration can improve

In this series of blogs posts, which are based on short interviews (Ed: embed the youtube clip under this paragraph), Medical Retinal Expert Jaheed Khan describes the different types of AMD; including:

  • the dry and the wet,
  • how they present,
  • what they look like,
  • how they differ, and
  • how we can treat them.

In this short interview, Jaheed Khan tells us about the improvement that can be had for wet AMD if treated.
Jane Olver: Jaheed, for somebody who is in their 70s and has wet macular degeneration, you said there was a chance of 30% of them getting better?
Jaheed Khan: Correct, in the short term.
JO: In the short term. Tell us a little bit more about the long-term outlook for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, please.
JK: The thing about wet macular degeneration is if treated early and reversed you still really need to be monitored fairly frequently to ensure you do not get a reactivation of the condition. We may have temporarily reversed the blood vessels growing, but we have not reversed the drive for why they initially started so there are instances where you can start the treatment and if you stop then you develop the disease again. So really a period of lifetime monitoring is probably appropriate for people who have developed wet macular degeneration.
JO: Would that be on a six monthly basis, a yearly basis with your ophthalmologist or would they be self-monitoring at home with the Amsler chart or a combination of both?JK: I think you have hit the nail there, it is a combination of both. Some patients want to be reassured with the physical assessment of the retina, and some people are happy to monitor their own symptoms. Either way if anything changes then we will be quick to act and to treat.
JO: And then they are back in the clinic having their visual function tests there, OCT and possibly more injections if there is a new growth of blood vessels.
JK: Absolutely, correct.
JO: Fantastic, thank you. In the next interview with  Medical Retinal Expert Jaheed Khan, we will talk more about the risk factors for AMD.

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