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Early treatment leads to better outcome for common eye disease

image-tools (43)Neovascular AMD or wet AMD is characterised by sudden changes in vision caused by bleeding at the back of the eye. This form of AMD can be treated with anti-VEGF antibodies, with vision stabilising or improving in most patients treated.

The study looked at 185 patients with neovascular AMD and assessed their vision at the time of diagnosis and at regular intervals up until 6 months post-treatment. A clinician surveyed the patients to establish when their symptoms first started and this was used to determine the treatment delay.

This study differs from other similar trials which only examined the delay between diagnosis and treatment, not the delay between first symptoms and treatment.

Dr Sanj Wickremasinghe was one of the lead researchers involved in the study. “No other study we know of has attempted to obtain this information prospectively, and the majority of patients, upon detailed questioning, could give an answer as to the onset of the symptoms,” he said.

“Our findings suggest that it is imperative to act quickly to minimise treatment delay following initial symptoms suggestive of AMD. In other words, if you notice changes to your vision such as a sudden deterioration in central vision, or colour or object distortion, you should see your GP or optometrist and ask for a specialist referral as soon as possible.”