New hope for patients at risk of blindness

New hope for patients at risk of blindness
New hope for patients at risk of blindness

Once every 6 weeks, ex-secretary Margaret Mason is in awe when she prepares herself for a dose of a new treatment designed to preserve her sight so she won't lose it forever to age-related macular degeneration.

Not only that, the experience is also painful, as doctors inject her eyes with injections of the treatment to preserve her deteriorating eyesight.

Having a needle in your eyeball is not nice, but I go because I don't want to go blind, the 71-year-old said.

About 600,000 people suffer from this problem in Britain, which shows the extent of its spread, according to the British newspaper, "Daily Mail".

It seems that the elderly woman's suffering with macular degeneration will soon end with the approval of the authorities in Britain for a new treatment.

Age-related macular degeneration is a health problem that affects the eye and leads to permanent vision loss among the elderly, over the age of 60, and this disease begins with the collapse of the macula, the central part of the retina, and increases over time.

The current treatment for this problem is regular injections, lasting between four and eight weeks, and these injections stop the abnormal growth of blood vessels that can damage the retina.

The problem with the current treatment is that its effect quickly fades, which makes the blood vessels leak again, and the problem returns again, which means that patients need these injections for years.

And in a scientific breakthrough, the Public Health Authority in Britain has approved the use of a new drug called “Farisimab”, which is a single injection once every four months, instead of once four weeks, and it is as effective as current treatments.

Praveen Patel, a consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and chief of staff to the committee that helped approve the drug, says it is working in a new way against this problem in the early stages, when the vasculopathy is limited.

This drug can improve eyesight if the light-revealing cells in the macula do not fade.

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