BLINDNESS LOSES TO A GRAIN OF RICE
Blindness isn’t the most popular topic. Most likely, you’re already wanting to scroll past this page. As soon as you reach a certain age, though, the topic becomes quite fascinating.
Why? Because of things like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which lead to blindness, especially in its “wet” form. It’s worse than a wet handshake.
AMD is a pathological growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina. This affects the macula, causing it to pull away from its base. Consequently, you rapidly lose your central vision.
Not all is lost, though, because Lucentis treats AMD and has for a long time. The process slows down in 90% of cases.
Don’t forget that this requires an ophthalmology visit about once every two months. Injections go directly into the eye. Some forget, though, perhaps because of poor memory at that age.
This is why Genentech created a new delivery method, titled Port Delivery System.
This is the aforementioned grain of rice, as the device is about that size. Doctors implant it into the eye of the patient and it time-releases medication.
What happens when the medication runs out? It can be replenished.
It looks like a small dot on the surface of the eye, but is not visible because it hides underneath the eyelid.
So how well does it work? It keeps the “wet” form of AMD in check just as well as conventional injections. Furthermore, older patients may not have to see the doctor for at least 15 months! Then they get a top-off.
The method is also quite safe.
You may notice that we often describe products that aren’t yet on the market. So how long before this is available? About 3 years.
Project Manager Carl D Regillo believes that reducing the number of injections and doctor visits is a good in and of itself.
Their work wasn’t presented just anywhere, but at the 122nd annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Text: Vadim Avrukin
Translation: Richard Crenwelge
Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash