Age-related macular degeneration often misdiagnosed

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Age-related macular degeneration often misdiagnosed

| Mar 20, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Some 14 million people in Texas and across the US have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an incurable eye disease that causes blurred vision and makes everyday activities, like driving and reading, difficult. With the US population aging, experts believe there will be an increase in the number of AMD cases.

Furthermore, AMD is frequently misdiagnosed. A study published in JAMA Ophthalmology and conducted by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that 1 in 4 cases are being missed. The study looked at 644 patients with an average age of 69 who had an ophthalmologist or optometrist perform a dilated eye exam on them.

Though there were no cases of advanced AMD being misdiagnosed, researchers still estimated that 30% of AMD patients who were misdiagnosed could have benefited from treatment, specifically methods which use AREDS2 vitamin and mineral supplements. The nutrients in these supplements can delay the progression of AMD and, thus, slow down vision loss.

Patients, for their part, need to know more about AMD and its symptoms. For example, they may develop dark spots in their vision, and straight lines can start to appear wavy. The moment individuals notice either of these symptoms, they should consult their doctors. Women, those over 60, smokers and farsighted people run a higher risk for developing AMD.

Errors in the diagnoses of eye diseases, cancers, vascular events and other conditions are all too common, and they may lead to victims being able to file medical malpractice claims. Filing such a claim can be hard because it requires a lot of medical knowledge in addition to knowledge about the laws, so those injured through medical negligence may want to hire a lawyer. An attorney may hire medical experts and investigators to assist with the case.