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From vision to blindness: The rapid decline associated with wet AMD Regina SK

Most of us take for granted the importance of good eyesight in our daily lives: our ability to see loved ones, admire our surroundings, read a book, ...

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From vision to blindness: The rapid decline associated with wet AMD

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(NC)-Most of us take for granted the importance of good eyesight in our daily lives: our ability to see loved ones, admire our surroundings, read a book, watch TV. Imagine what it must be like to steadily lose that ability in just a matter of weeks or months?

That's the tough reality that is faced by thousands of ageing Canadians who suffer from a degenerative eye disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It's the most common cause of severe vision loss for Canadians over the age of 50.

AMD is an eye disease that becomes more frequent with age. It damages the macula, a very small and specialized area in the centre of the retina, which is responsible for central vision necessary for ordinary vision-related activities such as seeing faces, reading and driving.

There are two types of AMD, dry and wet. Generally speaking, dry AMD progresses quite slowly and is usually less severe. Wet AMD on the other hand, is much more aggressive and can cause rapid and severe central vision loss in a matter of weeks to months, quickly and seriously compromising a person's ability to function independently and enjoy life to the fullest.

Canadian patients living with wet AMD received a dose of good news in March when the Common Drug Review (CDR), Canada's national drug review process which is in charge of providing recommendations on which drugs should be covered under provincial drug plans, recommended that Lucentis should be added to the list of medications paid for by each province.

This news brings all Canadians living with wet AMD one step closer to having access to the first and only treatment clinically proven to help patients regain vision and restore their quality of life. Ontario and Quebec have decided to fight against blindness by already adding Lucentis to their provincial drug plans. It is now up to other individual provinces and territories to make the final listing and coverage decision.

If you have been diagnosed with wet AMD or you notice a sudden change in your vision: blurring, or a blank spot in your visual field, speak to your eye doctor about this new advance in the treatment of wet AMD. Early diagnosis gives you a better chance at preserving more of your vision.

Credit: www.newscanada.com