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Spire launches age-related blindness procedure


24 January, 2008  

UK-based independent hospital provider Spire Healthcare has made a new procedure available to treat age-related blindness.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the central part of your vision and occurs mainly in older people. About one in 100 people aged 65-75 and one in eight people aged over 85 suffer from serious AMD that can result in complete loss of central vision.

There are two types of AMD known as the wet kind and the dry kind. Wet AMD is more destructive and is characterised by abnormal blood vessels growing at the back of the eye. These extra blood vessels leak and can cause rapid loss of sight.

Timothy Dabbs, a specialist eye consultant at Spire Leeds Hospital said:

“Although Wet AMD progresses rapidly and is destructive it is treatable. We inject a special drug under a local anaesthetic to control the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye.”

“On average a patient will need six injections, they are quick procedures and patients can normally go home about an hour later. Although they may not regain full sight, the treatment will often prevent further damage and in some instances can reverse some of the damage already caused.”

Erika Bennett, a patient recently treated at Spire Leeds Hospital, said:

“From not being able to read at all I can now read with my reading glasses. There is a small improvement with every injection and the treatment itself isn’t painful.

If you’re concerned that you or someone you know may be suffering from AMD, the best self test is to look directly at a straight line such as a door or window frame and using only one eye at a time to see if there is a noticeable kink in the frame which appears to move with your gaze. Your optician will be able to confirm if there is deterioration in your eyes.

Spire Healthcare