Earlier AMD Diagnosis Improves Disease Management
Timothy Earley, OD
Chuck Aldridge, OD
Harry Landsaw, OD
As Drs. Timothy Earley, Chuck Aldridge, and Harry Landsaw, demonstrate, AMD is easy to treat but difficult to diagnose. That means the earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome for patients who can get on vision-preserving treatment before it is too late.
Dr. Earley: I was raised in a time when we were told as primary care optometrists, there’s not much you can do for macular degeneration especially in its earliest stages. And it didn’t sit well with me that I would watch patients for decades slowly lose vision, lose functioning, and have nothing to do for it.
AdaptDx is a game-changer
Dr. Aldridge: AdaptDx is definitely a game-changer because one thing I have learned over the years is that the earlier you can become involved with the diagnosis, you know, the better of the management. A physician in the 1700s, his name was Mesmer, said, “The disease in the early stage is easy to treat but difficult to diagnose but disease in the late stages is easy to diagnose but difficult to treat,” and that’s kind of where we are now. If we can move to an earlier diagnosis, we’re definitely going to be able to make a difference in the patients’ well-being.
Dr. Earley: I think it’s important the patient understands that listen, we did this test because you’re having a noticeable problem with your night vision. Here’s the good news: we found this extremely early in the disease process and because we caught this very early there are things that we can do on a proactive basis to prevent you from losing your vision from macular damage.
Dr. Aldridge: That’s really the only technology you have as far as saying you know you have what we call subclinical macular degeneration, unfortunately, the outcome ultimately will be the same which means patients will develop on to AMD but the good news is by being able to diagnose much earlier and getting involved much earlier we can slow down that progression. I’m not trying to sound morbid but to make the disease outlive the patient. That’s the whole goal here.
Dr. Landsaw: If you have a visual fields, you need an AdaptDx. It is a game-changer for macular degeneration as visual field was for glaucoma. There’s no way you would treat a patient for glaucoma and follow them without a visual fields, and you need that AdaptDx to really follow macular degeneration patient and detect it significantly earlier to help keep and save their vision.
Dr. Earley: Most of us got into this industry to save sight and I think that those of us who still have our eye on that prize can’t help but want to have this technology in their practices.