A diagnosis of wet age-related macular degeneration used to mean severe central vision loss and even blindness in a matter of weeks. But a new treatment is reversing the effects of this condition.
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Sherri Dmyterko: There is a reason the story of the blind persons who regains their sight is considered a miracle. It doesn't happen very often, but that's changing. Today people who are unable to do normal day-to-day activities like driving a car, are not only able to see again, but are back in the drivers seat. Thanks to approving treatment now available in Canada. Lorna Ball was almost blind because of a condition called Wet AMD or Age-Related Macular Degeneration. The leading cause of vision loss that affects Canadians over the age of 50. As her vision deteriorated she was on verge of losing her driver's license. Lorna Ball: When my Physicians told me I had AMD, it was a very scary thing. I had visions of losing my sight which is to me a horrible thing. One of things that affected me and made me a little nervous was the fact that I couldn't see things clearly when I was driving my car and I do drive my car quite a bit. And the other thing is that in summer time when I am playing golf I couldn't see the golf ball, my girlfriends said to stand behind me and tell me where my ball was going and find it for me on the ground. After being treated with Lucentis, I saw every single flight of every ball that was hit and I could find my own ball. It was very exciting and I have no problems driving now. So I am happy camper. Sherri Dmyterko: The diagnosis of Wet AMD previously meant severe centralisation loss and possibly even blindness in a matter of weeks to months. Previous treatments aim to contain or slow the progression of the disease but today 40% of people given the new treatment called Lucentis, regains sufficient vision to get back their drivers license. Doctor John Chen a medical ophthalmologist states that several of his patients see a dramatic change in their life after being treated with Lucentis. Specially when they see him quickly after the first symptoms appear. John Chen: With the advent of Lucentis the treatment of AMD is really has been revolutionized. In the past, our treatment be it with laser or photodynamic therapy what we could do at most is to slow down the loss of vision, but now we have for the first time we can reverse the vision loss and then actually improve vision. Lorna Ball: Living with AMD is very easy for me because our Ontario government has chosen to support Lucentis injections for people like me I understand in other provinces it's not available and the people who cannot afford their own treatment end up with the fear that I had of going blind which would have just. It was very frightening to think that I would lose my eyesight completely. Sherri Dmyterko: So far only Ontario and Quebec have added Lucentis to their provincial drug plans meaning 50% of Canadians do not have access to this important new treatment. Patients who want to learn more should talk to their physician; Sherri Dmyterko reporting.

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