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Study finds condition causing vision loss often goes undiagnosed

Many New York residents are aware that their vision may decline as they age. To prevent this, many people regularly visit eye doctors or other trained eye care professionals to ensure that their eyes are still healthy. However, a study published in JAMA Opthalmology found that some eye care professionals were failing to diagnose a serious eye degeneration condition.

According to the results of the study, 25 percent of 644 patients who had previously undergone dilated eye exams were found to show signs of age-related macular degeneration. Researchers determined that about 30 percent of the cases that went undiagnosed could have benefited from nutritional supplementation. However, researchers were concerned that the condition could become more prevalent as the baby boomer population becomes older.

AMD is a condition that causes irreversible vision loss, particularly in those who are 50 or older. Those with the condition tend to experience a decline in their central vision, which could make completing everyday tasks, like driving, more difficult. The condition affects an estimated 14 million Americans. Although there is no cure, the progression of AMD can be slowed with nutritional supplementation. For cases that are more severe, anti-VEGF medications can help shrink the abnormal blood vessels in the eye that are associated with the condition.

When a patient receives a misdiagnosis or has a medical condition that goes without a diagnosis, he or she may be at risk for suffering irreversible damage. In some cases, the conditions could have been improved or slowed with the appropriate treatment. If the misdiagnosis or non-diagnosis was caused by negligence, the patient may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim against the healthcare professional and the practice. An attorney may be able to bring evidence against the doctor demonstrating that negligence occurred. This might help the patient when seeking compensation for any additional medical care resulting from the misdiagnosis and other damages.

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