amd-boy-b-330x220

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is a disease that affects the central part of vision (i.e., the macula) resulting in blurriness, distortion, changes in color/light perception and, ultimately, loss of vision. Peripheral vision is not affected. Vision loss often goes undetected, as these changes are usually gradual and affect one eye at a time. Nonetheless, ARMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50 years of age, currently affecting over 1.8 million individuals in the United States.

Risk factors for ARMD include the following:

  • Smoking
  • Caucasian ethnicity
  • Female gender
  • Family history of ARMD

Currently, vision loss as a result of ARMD can not be recovered, but treatment such as supplements, laser, or injections can be administered to prevent additional loss of vision. Lifestyle changes that can make a big difference in terms of disease prevention and stopping progression include quitting smoking, exercising regularly, maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and eating a diet abundant in green, leafy vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids.

Common issues faced by people with ARMD include difficulty recognizing faces, spotting signs and objects while driving, or performing near activities such as reading, writing, or cooking. Low vision devices and training can be used to dramatically improve these and other activities of daily living.

If you are at risk for developing ARMD, it is crucial that you receive an annual eye exam including dilation. If you have ARMD, it is even more important that you receive regular monitoring of your condition, as only proper treatment and management can prevent additional vision loss. A multidisciplinary team consisting of a low vision optometrist, a retinal ophthalmologist, an occupational therapist, and orientation and mobility specialists can provide you the best possible outcomes and maximize your independence.

If you are an eye care provider and have patients who have been diagnosed with ARMD, please consider referring them to a new study that can compensate them for their time.

Sources:
https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts
http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/macular-degeneration?sso=y
https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/amd-macular-degeneration

Steven Wang, OD
OCOS Public Relations

macdegen

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Clinical Study

Name of Project:  Proposal for a Follow-on Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Clinical Study.

Dr. Ridder, Dr. Comer, Dr. Oquindo and Dr. Yoshinaga are currently recruiting normal and age related macular degeneration volunteers for a study at the Southern California College of Optometry/Ketchum Health, Marshall B. Ketchum University.

Inclusion Criteria for Normal subjects:

  • Approximate age: 65+
  • Vision close to 20/20 OD/OS

Exclusion Criteria for Normal subjects:

  • Significant cataract that affects vision
  • Glaucoma, strabismus, amblyopia
  • Diabetes, Uncontrolled hypertension

Inclusion Criteria for AMD subjects:

  •  Visual acuity in one eye 20/60 or better

Exclusion Criteria the same as for Normal subjects

In this research project, there will be three arms of testing to be completed initially:
1. Clinical Testing (approx. 1.5 hours, no compensation, but exam is free)
2. Vision Testing (approx. 2 hours, Compensation: $25/hour)
3. Blood Draw at lab in Cypress (Compensation: $50/blood draw)

This is a two year study that will repeat testing either every 6 months or annually for each subject during the two years.

If you have a potential subject, please contact one of us and please ask your patient if they are interested at the time of their visit if possible.

wridder@ketchum.edu (714-449-7494)
gcomer@ketchum.edu (ex 7405)
coquindo@ketchum.edu (ex 7851)
pyoshinaga@ketchum.edu (ex 7843)

Harue-Marsden-

Tribute to Dr. Harue Marsden

With a heavy heart, we want to inform all OCOS members that Dr. Harue Marsden passed away after an extended fight against cancer on Thursday Feb 2. She passed away in the comfort of her own home. There will be a memorial service next Friday, February 10. For those wish to attend it will be at Marshall B. Ketchum University and you can check out the Ketchum Website for more details soon.

Harue was an amazing woman, a great mentor to her students, and dedicated so much of herself to the profession of optometry. Incredibly devoted to OCOS, she attended virtually every meeting and even our board meetings to help guide and nurture the future leaders of our society. I think it was her favorite thing to do, to inspire and develop young people to achieve more of the potential she saw in them. I remember seeing her just a couple weeks ago and she was fired up to discuss topics for our upcoming house of delegates meeting. She was always so excited to be an instrument of change, because for her, it symbolized the steady upward march of optometric progress. And it’s why she loved so much to talk to young people who were unburdened by the past—who couldn’t wait to seize the future.

I personally experienced this as she was my contact lens mentor and later friend on the OCOS board. I remember like yesterday at one of our OCOS meetings 3 years ago, she won a VISA gift certificate courtesy of one of our sponsors. A SCCO student had pulled her winning ticket. She strolled up to collect her prize, but once she got to the front she took the gift and handed it to the student who pulled her ticket with a smile. I’ve never seen anyone else do that, but that was just who Harue was.

So I ask of OCOS to honor the memory of Harue. To be worthy of her life’s work and for our part actively promote our wonderful profession. To say “yes” to those emails and calls from pre-optometry and optometry students who want to visit us in practice to learn. To break bread, share a good drink, and create lasting relationships with your optometrists colleagues. We’ll certainly miss her. We lost a good one and may she rest in peace.

Thanh Mai, OD
OCOS President