Could anti-HIV medication could prevent blindness?

Thanks to the visionary research doctors at the University of Kentucky’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences’ study on “dry” age-related macular degeneration in mice, has shown a widely-used class of drugs used to treat HIV called NRTIs could prove effective in treating older adults with AMD in the neighborhood of 50 years of age and older.

According to University of Kentucky ophthalmologist vice chair, Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, in findings during a National Institute of Health-funded (NIH) study, “macular degeneration affects an estimated 50-million people worldwide,” WOW!

AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years and older and is more common among Caucasians, people who smoke, or have a family history of the condition. Over time, AMD progressively damages a part of the eye called the macula, which is a light-sensitive part of the eye needed for crisp, clear vision.

Vision loss, to any degree, sounds pretty scary and can negatively impact a person or families.  If untreated, AMD can rob people of their ability to work, drive, read, cook, or even see their children or grandchildren’s faces.

Uses and effectiveness of the drugs are still the laboratory testing phases; however positive results in laboratory mice suggest a bright future for the drugs enhanced uses.

To ensure healthy and clear vision throughout you and your family’s lives, the NIH to discuss your eye health with a physician and to have an eye exam each year.

If you know someone in need of vision care, but cannot afford it, Georgia is home to one of the largest charitable care network in the country.  Charitable organizations like the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation provide sight-saving eye exams, eyeglasses, eye surgeries (e.g. AMD, cataracts, and glaucoma) to undeserved Georgians across the state.

For more information on how to support the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation’s mission to provide vision surgeries to those with AMD, please visit our website to make a donation to help those less fortunate.