Macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans. As baby boomers age and our older population grows, we expect the condition to become more prevalent. Collectively, the doctors at Horizon Eye Care pride ourselves on staying ahead of medical trends to best serve our patients. That being said, to combat Age-related Macular Degeneration, we have partnered with Artificial Intelligence/Remote Diagnostics technology so we can monitor our [dry] AMD patients from home.
- Early detection is the key to maintaining good visual acuity in the wet form of the disease
- ForeseeHome has the ability to detect changes weeks earlier than standard amsler grid testing
- ForeseeHome is easy to set up and use, and in most cases, has been approved for coverage by Medicare
- Horizon Eye Care is leading the way by partnering with AI/remote diagnostic manufacturers who are producing the most advanced technologies to help our patients age-related macular degeneration
What Is Age-related Macular Degeneration?
Age-related Macular Degeneration affects the macula, the part of the retina that enables you to see fine detail. As the disease deteriorates the macula, your eyes won’t be able to distinguish details such as facial features and words on a page. Thus, the disease can rob you of your ability to drive or watch television. Early detection is critical because, while there is no cure, there are treatment options to help prevent it from getting worse.
There are two types of macular degeneration – dry and wet.
Approximately 85% of people with the condition have dry AMD, which causes the layers macula to get progressively thinner. As the macula thins out, it functions less and less. Simultaneously, yellow deposits, called “drusen,” build up under the retina. As the size and number of these deposits increase, so does the risk of developing wet AMD.
The primary symptom of dry AMD is blurry vision. If you experience difficulty seeing sharp details, both up close and from a distance, you may have developed dry AMD.
Most importantly, the dry variety of macular degeneration increases your risk of progressing to wet AMD, which causes significant vision loss without the possibility of treatment. Dry AMD can suddenly transform into wet AMD without notice. You also may not notice any change or decline in your vision when this occurs.
If dry AMD converts to wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow under and into the retina, specifically the macula. These blood vessels leak fluid and sometimes bleed without warning. When this happens, significant loss can be rapid and severe.
Vision loss occurs because the wet variety destroys the sharp, central vision needed to see objects clearly. When straight lines appear wavy or if you see a dark spot or spots in the center of your vision, you may have developed wet AMD.
Who Is Most At Risk?
Age is the greatest risk factor for macular degeneration. According to the National Eye Institute, people over 50 years of age are at the greatest risk of developing it. Further, you may have higher odds of developing AMD if you smoke, have cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, family history or if you are obese.
ForeseeHome: AMD Monitoring Program
As mentioned above, there is currently no cure or treatment for dry AMD but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing wet AMD. These include healthy lifestyle choices, like not smoking and taking AREDS2 vitamins daily. Furthermore, it is important to monitor your eyes between office visits. The ForeseeHome AMD Monitoring Program is an easy-to-use early warning system for your eyes that can catch the progression from dry to wet AMD as soon as it happens. Its sensitivity to changes in the condition enables your doctor to step in sooner and initiate treatment if necessary. Alternatively, your doctor may refer you to a Retina Specialist for treatment to preserve your good vision.
ForeseeHome has effectively preserved people’s vision who have utilized the technology between office visits. It has the ability to detect changes weeks earlier than standard amsler grid testing. In fact, a recent study shows that 94% of patients using ForeseeHome maintained driving vision (20/40 or better) after their dry AMD changed to wet versus only 62% of patients using an amsler grid.
If I haven’t yet convinced you to try ForeseeHome, it is easy to set up and use, and in most cases, approved for coverage by Medicare.
Horizon Eye Care
If you are currently a Macular Degeneration patient at Horizon, ask your doctor about ForeseeHome. If your ophthalmologist has recently diagnosed you with AMD, ask for a referral to Horizon or call us directly at 704-365-0555.