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Cure For Vision Loss

MADISON, WI (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Central retinal vein occlusion or CRVO is an eye disease that affects the retina and can cause severe vision loss. There has been no cure, until now!

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Cortez Bennett loved to read the paper. Until one day, almost overnight, the paper became a blur.

"I knew something was wrong, but I just could not, I couldn’t put a finger on it, until finally the doctor said, ‘you can’t see out of this eye," Cortez Bennett, vision loss patient, told Ivanhoe.

Cortez has central retinal vein occlusion or CRVO. It happens when blood flow in a large vein in the eye’s retina becomes blocked and then leaks, damaging the retina and causing vision loss. Ophthalmologists now have a new treatment to help restore vision in patients with this disease.

"One of the treatments that we’ve investigated recently is something called intravitreal triamcinolone injection. We’ll call it for short, a steroid injection into the eye," Michael Ip, M.D., an ophthalmologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explained.

The steroid injections are the first, long-term effective treatment to improve and reduce vision loss.

"These are very compelling, very exciting results," Dr. Ip said.

When blood vessels in the eye are blocked, blood and fluid are forced back up into the blood vessels, and then abnormal fragile new blood vessels begin to form that can cause retinal bleeding. Steroids stop new blood vessels from leaking, helping to restore vision.

"We found that injections of these steroids resulted in a five times greater chance that the patient would have a significant improvement in their vision over the course of one to two years," Dr. Ip said.

The injections are repeated several times a year. Cortez's treatments were a success; he’s back to driving, reading, and computing.

"Had it not been for that, I would be in a world of darkness," Bennett said.

Science helps to bring light back into sight. Side effects from the steroid injections include cataracts and glaucoma. The main risk factors for developing the disease are advanced age, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:

Michael Ip, MD
University of Wisconsin, Madison

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