U.S. Adults Lack Knowledge About Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Gaps in knowledge for the leading cause of adult blindness seen for symptoms, treatment
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY Feb. 8, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Most U.S. adults are unaware of warning signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and treatment advances for the condition, according to survey results released by the American Society of Retina Specialists.

The online survey conducted in January included responses from 1,008 U.S. adults aged 40 years and older.

According to the results of the survey, 78 percent of respondents did not know straight lines appearing wavy or distorted was a symptom of AMD, and only half (51 percent) were aware that a gradual or sudden loss of central vision or a dark, blurry area in the center of vision is an AMD symptom. Additionally, 83 percent did not know that obesity increases the risk for developing AMD, while 74 percent did not identify excessive sun exposure as a risk factor. Lastly, nearly seven in 10 participants (67 percent) did not know anti-vascular endothelial growth factor medication injections could potentially prevent blindness and vision loss.

"When patients partner with a retina specialist at the first sign or symptom, we develop a treatment plan using our extensive and specialized education and training that can help patients maintain healthy sight despite AMD," Philip J. Ferrone, M.D., president of the Foundation of the American Society of Retina Specialists, said in a statement.

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