Macular Degeneration is a blinding condition, which currently affects 30 per cent of people over the age of 75. Most people affected with this disease suffer from the dry form that has no proven treatment until now. However, a new laser could offer hope to those suffering from the disease. This laser treatment, which takes just 15 minutes, involves gently heating the retinal pigment epithelium, the tissue that contains harmful deposits called drusen. This heating and damaging of the retinal pigment epithelium causes the body to come in and do some repair work and, at the same time, some of these drusen can disappear and decrease in size, number and thickness.
The laser treatment is however for the dry form of the disease and Dr. Fox, an ophthalmologist said that this treatment could also help people who go on to develop the more serious wet form. He believes that the incidence of patients going on to wet macular degeneration could be decreased by the order of 100,000 patients or more per year. The treatment, which is not yet readily available is currently being tested on 800 people. Dr. Fox concluded that after the results of the trail prove to be beneficial, it will be available more widely.