CHICAGO (July 30, 2013) – As we age, many will start to experience distorted or decreased vision. There can be many reasons for these changes – but one diagnosis in particular may be less well known: symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion (symptomatic VMA), a disease that can occur in people over the age of 50 and primarily in those over 70.
In order to educate the public on this condition and new treatment options recently made available, Prevent Blindness America has introduced the sVMA Learning Center to its website, providing the most up-to-date information on the disease, warning signs and treatment options. Located at advocacy.preventblindness.org/svma, the sVMA Learning Center is the newest addition to PBA’s online educational library that offers credible, comprehensive information on a range of vision-related topics.
Symptomatic VMA happens when the gel that fills the eye (the vitreous) liquefies and loses shape, leading to the separation of the vitreous from the retina at the back of the eye. While this separation is a normal part of the aging process, it is not always a complete separation resulting in a small area of the vitreous that remains attached to the macula, the part of the retina that is responsible for our sharp, central vision. This can cause the retina to be pulled, leading to visual distortion, and a loss of central vision.
An eye doctor can test for symptomatic VMA with a complete dilated eye examination that includes an optical coherence tomography (OCT) examination. The OCT provides images of the back of the eye, including the vitreous and retina, which allows the doctor to accurately diagnose the condition and discuss treatment options.
“We’re very pleased to bring information about symptomatic VMA to the public,” said HughParry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. “It’s vitally important for people to know the facts and to learn about the symptoms and new treatment options to help protect their sight.”
The sVMA Learning Center includes:
- Signs and Symptoms of the Condition
- Who’s at Risk
- How Doctors Check for Symptomatic VMA
- Treatment Options including “watchful waiting,” surgery and a new FDA approved treatment
The PBA website houses a number of informative studies, reports and fact sheets that address a wide range of eye health and safety topics. For more information, call (800) 331-2020.