Age-related macular degeneration is on the up

16 March 2011

Healthcare experts are expecting to see a sharp rise in the number of people suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the coming years.

According to a new study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, AMD currently affects around 600,000 Britons - but this figure is expected to rise by almost a quarter to 765,000 by 2020.

The scientists claimed that part of the reason for the projected increase in cases of AMD, which is a leading cause of blindness, is that the general public are mostly unaware of the condition.

After surveying 4,000 people, the researchers, from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London, found that many were unaware of the impact a poor diet and smoking can have on long-term eye health.

Dr Susan Blakeney, optometric adviser to the College of Optometrists, told the BBC: "By making people more aware of AMD and the impact it can have, we hope to increase detection and people seeking access to support services."

Posted by Philip Briggs

1 Minassian, Darwin et al. "Modelling the prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (2010–2020) in the UK: expected impact of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy". British Journal of Ophthalmology. February 2011.

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