Understanding Wet AMD – Patient’s Journey

Understanding Wet AMD – Patient’s Journey

by | Jun 6, 2024 | AMD | 0 comments

Wet AMD, although less common, is a more severe form of age-related macular degeneration. AMD itself stands as a primary cause of global vision impairment, especially among older individuals. Wet AMD accounts for approximately 10% to 15% of all cases. According to recent studies, wet AMD affects approximately 0.15% of the global population, with prevalence rates increasing with age. It is characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the retina, which can leak fluid and cause rapid vision loss.

Living with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be a challenging and life-altering experience for patients. This review discusses what it’s like for patients navigating this condition.

Early Symptoms and Diagnosis

The early symptoms of wet AMD include sudden and significant vision loss, distorted or wavy vision, and the appearance of blind spots or dark areas in the central vision. These symptoms can develop rapidly, often within a matter of days or weeks, and can significantly impact a patient’s ability to perform daily activities.

Diagnosing wet AMD typically involves a comprehensive eye examination, including visual acuity tests, dilated eye exams, and imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fluorescein angiography. These diagnostic methods can be expensive and invasive, which can be a barrier to early detection and treatment for some patients.

Treatment and Management

While there is no cure for wet AMD, there are some treatment options that can help slow the disease progression and preserve vision. These include anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections, which work to reduce the growth of abnormal blood vessels and prevent further leakage. Laser therapy and photodynamic therapy are also sometimes used to treat wet AMD. Yet, these options are invasive and lack foolproof reliability.

Patients with wet AMD often require regular monitoring and frequent treatment, which can be a significant burden both physically and financially. The need for ongoing care and the risk of vision loss can also take a toll on a patient’s mental and emotional well-being. With increasing global alder population, this poses a serious burden on the healthcare systems.

Emerging Technologies

Mantis Photonics’ hyperspectral retinal imaging, have shown promise in the early detection of wet AMD. This non-invasive imaging technique can identify subtle changes in the retina before the onset of visual symptoms in a single snapshot. This facilitates earlier intervention and can potentially enable slowing of  disease progression. By incorporating hyperspectral imaging into routine eye exams, healthcare providers can empower patients to take proactive steps in managing their condition and preserving their vision.

Additionally, ongoing research into new treatment options, such as gene therapy and stem cell-based therapies, offers hope for the future of wet AMD management. As these technologies continue to evolve, patients may have access to more effective and less invasive treatment options, improving their quality of life and reducing the burden of this debilitating condition. Nevertheless, spotting the condition early is crucial for effective treatment and management. This is because the disease progresses rapidly, and restoring vision after complete loss becomes challenging. Mantis Photonics’ patented HSI technology is highly efficient in effectively spotting the condition early and can be a fruitful tool for ophthalmologists and healthcare professionals worldwide.