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Failing to diagnose macular degeneration

North Carolina residents may be interested to learn that, according to a study, about 25 percent of age-related macular degeneration is missed by eye care professionals. Because this condition can result in a loss of eyesight, failing to diagnose AMD can have serious implications for older adults who are at risk for developing it.

AMD often results in irreversible vision loss for those who are at or over 50 years of age. The condition reportedly affects 14 million individuals in the U.S. Although there is no cure for AMD, there are ways doctors can slow down the progression of the condition. Treatments often can include certain vitamins and minerals and an injectable anti-VEGF medication that reduces the size of abnormally large blood vessels.

The study found that of the 25 percent of individuals who were diagnosed with AMD, about 30 percent would have benefited from treatment. Due to the number of cases of AMD that were missed in the study, those involved in the study suggested that patients and professionals should learn what the risk factors are in addition to being aware of the symptoms. For example, risk factors can include being 60 or older, being female, having a lighter colored iris and smoking. The symptoms can include straight lines that appear wavy and dark spots in a person's vision.

When patients are suffering from symptoms that have an impact on their quality of life, they expect medical professionals to diagnose them quickly so that they can seek appropriate treatment. The failure to diagnose an irreversible condition, such as AMD, could have an impact on the patients' ability to work or live their life fully. A medical malpractice attorney could help patients who suffered irreversible vision loss file a lawsuit against the medical professionals who failed to diagnose the condition in a timely manner.

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Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP

Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP
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