AdaptDx Is The Early Detection Test For Macular Degeneration
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is by far the most prevalent type of macular degeneration.
In the U.S. alone, hundreds of thousands of adults lose their sight every year due to AMD. It is the leading cause of adult blindness in developed countries. More 9 million people in the U.S. and 30 million people worldwide have AMD, and the problem is expected to grow as the population ages.
AMD is a progressive eye disease that attacks the macula, a central part of the retina responsible for processing visual images. The macula is to the eye as film or a digital processor is to a camera. In cameras, damage to the film or digital processor results in blurry pictures. In the human eye, a macula affected by AMD means the loss of central vision important for daily tasks like walking, driving, reading, watching TV, recognizing family members, and eye-hand coordination (such as putting a key in a door).
AMD has a number of stages and forms, and different terms are used to describe them. Generally speaking, there are two main stages. First is early AMD (sometimes referred to as “dry AMD”). This stage of the disease can last five years or more. In most cases, normal daylight vision is unaffected so individuals are not aware they have AMD. However, even though people usually blame it on other causes, early AMD is impacting their dark adaptation (or “night vision”) in a telltale fashion.
The second stage is late AMD (in its most common form referred to as “wet AMD”). In this stage, a person will start to notice central vision blurriness. The transition from early-stage to late-stage AMD can happen rapidly, and if left untreated can lead to legal blindness in as few as six months. Treatment of late AMD is well understood and once started usually helps to stop or slow further vision loss. However, it is limited in its ability to reverse damage already done.
Measurement of dark adaptation function with the AdaptDx® can provide valuable, early insight in AMD. In particular, it is beneficial for people with AMD to identify it in the early stage so they can work with their eye care physician to take actions before significant vision loss has occurred. Possibilities include lifestyle changes and use of eye-health supplements to delay the onset of late-stage blindness, and beginning treatment with late-stage prescription therapeutics at the earliest possible time to preserve as much vision as possible.