Editorials

Age related macular degeneration

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39009.366736.80 (Published 26 October 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:869
  1. Usha Chakravarthy, professor of ophthalmology and vision sciences (u.chakravarthy@qub.ac.uk)
  1. Centre for Vision Science, Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast BT12 6BA

    Better tools are needed to measure quality of life and visual outcomes

    Wet (also known as neovascular or exudative) age related macular degeneration is a common condition of poorly understood aetiology that affects around two million elderly people in Europe.1 In the United Kingdom, in about a quarter of a million people wet macular degeneration causes bilateral visual impairment of sufficient severity that they are registered as partially sighted or blind.2 If only one eye is affected the onset of disease may go unnoticed by the patient. Wet macular degeneration is usually bilateral though, and when the second eye becomes affected the impact on the patient is devastating.3

    Good vision is often taken for granted. It is an important prerequisite for a socially fulfilling and active lifestyle. Wet macular degeneration affecting both eyes has serious consequences for quality of life. The psychosocial and functional …

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