November 19, 2013
Susan B. Bressler, M.D., the Julia G. Levy Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute, has co-authored a study on the success of home monitoring of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Patients with the "dry" form of AMD were given a device to use at home to monitor their visual field changes, with the goal of detecting choroidal neovascularization (CNV), the "wet" form of AMD, which requires immediate treatment to prevent vision loss. Results were transmitted to a central monitoring center, allowing patients and their doctors to be aware of significant changes as they occurred and initiate treatment as soon as possible, resulting in better overall outcomes for their visual health.
Currently, patients with AMD are asked to self-monitor, relying on their own observations, and follow up with their physicians if they notice any changes in their vision. This study suggests that patients with intermediate or advanced AMD could benefit from a home monitoring device.
“Persons 60 years of age or older should undergo dilated eye examinations to determine their risk of developing advanced AMD, especially CNV,” said Dr. Bressler. “In contrast to current home monitoring strategies, those with intermediate AMD (bilateral large drusen) or advanced AMD in one eye are likely to benefit from use of a home monitoring device to detect the development of CNV at an earlier stage with better preservation of their visual acuity to maximize visual acuity results after intravitreal therapy with anti-VEGF agents.”
The study will be published in Ophthalmology. Subscribers to the publication can access the study online.