In this health video learn how Macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss in those over age 60. A few daily eye drops could restore their vision.
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Charles Wampler: So, I kept going back to the doctor and telling him I couldn't read, I couldn't read, I couldn't read. Jennifer Matthews: Charles Wampler knew something was wrong when he had to use a magnifying glass to get his daily news. Charles Wampler: I love to read a paper, but that's the only thing that I have noticed is that I am having a trouble reading a paper. Jennifer Matthews: He was diagnosed with age-related dry macular degeneration or dry AMD. The disease causes a layer of tissue behind the retina to wear out. Blood vessels abnormally grow through that weak layer, causing swelling and scarring and a gradual loss of vision. Dr. David Brown: As it dies, it erodes these areas and you get bigger and bigger geographic areas, and if that goes into your center, you can't read. Jennifer Matthews: Wampler knew his golf game could soon be affected as well. So, he joined a clinical trial for a new eye drop called Hydergine. Dr. David Brown: It's an antioxidant. It's kind of like an eye drop vitamin. Jennifer Matthews: The drops go in four times a day. Wampler is not sure if he's getting the real deal or the placebo, but he says it's worth it. Charles Wampler: It's a gamble I took to try to help myself and to help somebody else down the road. Jennifer Matthews: Researchers are also testing another drop to fight wet macular degeneration, the most severe form of AMD. It also causes an overgrowth of blood vessels behind the retina. Dr. David Brown: And that makes visual acuity drop. People go blind in a hurry. Jennifer Matthews: Currently, the only treatment for wet AMD is a series of injections into the eye. While it's too early to tell if either of the drugs will be effective, doctors are hopeful and so is Wampler. Charles Wampler: This study not only will help me, but will help a lot of people behind me, younger than me. And it's worth everything we are doing to do the study. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.