A study conducted by a local research team has revealed the transmission probability of wet macular degeneration in an eye if a patient already has wet macular degeneration in the other eye.
|Professors Byeon Suk-ho (left) and Lee Jun-won|
The study, led by Professors Byeon Suk-ho and Lee Jun-won of the Department of Ophthalmology at Severance Hospital, made the finding after analyzing 280 patients, who had a wet macular degeneration in one of their eyes and visited the hospital from 2013 to 2016.
According to its result, 21 percent of all patients with wet macular degeneration developed in one eye developed wet macular degeneration in the other eye within five years.
In detail, the team looked at the development of wet macular degeneration by the type of drusen accumulated in the eye that had not developed wet macular degeneration symptoms. Drusen has three classifications -- soft drusen, reticular pseudodrusen, and pachydrusen.
Patients without drusen had a 3.6 percent chance of developing wet macular degeneration in their remaining eye within five years.
When the patient had dry macular degeneration and drusen in their remaining eye, the incidence was different according to the type of drusen involved.
In patients with soft drusen and reticular pseudodrusen, 76 percent of the patients saw their wet macular degeneration spread. In detail, 46 percent of patients with soft drusen and 25 percent of patients with reticular pseudodrusen developed wet macular degeneration in their normal eye within five years.
However, patients with pachydrusen showed lower incidence, similar to normal eyes without drusen.
The team also analyzed the possibility of developing wet macular degeneration in the remaining eye, depending on the type of wet macular degeneration that had already occurred.
Wet macular degeneration can be categorized into three categories -- typical neovascular macular degeneration, nodular choroidal angiopathy, and retinal hemangioma proliferation.
Patients suffering from typical neovascular macular degeneration had 19 percent chance of developing wet macular degeneration within five years, while patients with nodular choroidal angiopathy and retinal hemangioma proliferation had probabilities of 8 percent and 67 percent, respectively.
“The study is significant in that it helps to preserve vision by predicting the risk of developing macular degeneration, which has been highlighted as a major cause of blindness, and enabling an early response,” the team said. “There is a big difference in the quality of life between visual acuity that occurs mainly in one eye, and that occurs in both eyes.”
The findings will help patients suffering from the development of wet macular degeneration prepare for and reduce the possibility of developing macular degeneration in the other eye, the team added.