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Check your eyes to avoid AMD-caused blindness

ONE out of every seven Chinese aged 50 and over suffers age-related macular degeneration or AMD, a common eye condition among the old and the middle-aged who are handicapped by a loss of vision in the center of the visual field, Shanghai doctors said.

However, most Chinese are unaware of AMD, which is a major cause of blindness for people aged over 50 in developed countries. Many Chinese know something about cataract but nothing about AMD.

Dr Wu Xingwei at Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital says AMD sufferers will experience rapid deterioration of vision in three months and will become almost blind if they fail to get correct and timely treatment within two years.

"People over 55 years old should have their eyes checked annually to detect early symptoms of AMD," Wu said. "Research has found vascular endothelial growth factor is the primary cause of AMD and anti-VEGF treatment has been developed to control the deterioration of AMD."


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