Hope for new treatments buoys macular degeneration patients
Sometimes it starts with wavy vision. Objects appear distorted. Familiar faces go blurry.
Sean Teare, a 48-year-old health care consultant from Duxbury, struggled to read menus in dimly lit restaurants. After a battery of tests, his optometrist told him he had age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, an eye disease that afflicts more than 9 million Americans and can cause serious vision loss. “It came as a complete shock,” said Teare.
The prevalence of the condition is rising as the population ages. The number of early-stage cases for those 50 and older is projected to nearly double to 17.8 million in the United States by 2050, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For baby boomers, who are living longer than past 2 generations and fiercely prize their independence, it’s a dreaded diagnosis that threatens to rob them of everyday functions such as reading, driving, cooking, or watching television.