Signs of Sight Loss Could Be Identified Even before Patients Begin to Lose Their Sight

New research gives hope to those at high risk for vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration. A study from the University of Southampton has found that the signs of macular degeneration can set in earlier than previously thought, which could mean treatments to help slow the onset of the disease.

The study looked at the records of over 30,000 patients who had retinal scans and genetic data stored in the UK Biobank. Scientists compared the retinal measurements of 34 genetic risk factors for macular degeneration to those without risk factors.


Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the study’s conclusion showed that participants with healthy eyes and no history of macular degeneration had a thinner retina if they carried the genes that put them at risk.

Previous research into macular degeneration had not explained which cells in the eyes were affected by the disease first. This study is the first to examine the retinal scans that showed thinner photoreceptors in patients with genetic risk factors.

Researchers believe this new information gives them a better understanding of the early stages of macular degeneration and can help them identify which cells should be targeted in further research.

Earlier Interventions

Currently, most treatments for macular degeneration only start when patients start to have severe problems with their eyesight. With this new information, treatments may become available for those with no symptoms but who are at a higher risk for sight loss in the future.

Macular degeneration is the most common cause of sight loss in the Western world. With further research on the condition, researchers believe they may be able to detect patients at higher risk of vision loss earlier than previously thought. They suggest some simple lifestyle changes to help reduce the eye disease risk, including eating a Mediterranean diet, exercising, and quitting smoking.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.


Popular Stories