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Science
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 20 March
PRESENTER
DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 20 March 2007
A close-up of an elderly man's eyes

Full programme transcript >>

Eyes

Many eye conditions become more common as we age.

One in a hundred people over the age of 40 have some form of glaucoma, and cataracts and macular degeneration generally are problems for the elderly.

Dr Mark Porter reports on the latest treatments for these conditions.

His guest in the studio is Ms Seema Verma, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

Presbyopia

Once you reach your mid-forties and beyond, it's common to notice your near vision getting worse.

This is caused by an age-related condition called presbyopia and it happens to everyone as they get older, as Mark discovers at an appointment with ophthalmologist Mr Faz Hove at Southampton General Hospital.

Glaucoma

Another condition that can occur as we get older is glaucoma - a rise in pressure within the eye.

If untreated, glaucoma results in a gradual and irreversible loss of vision, typically in the peripheral vision.

Mark has his eyes tested for glaucoma, and hears from Mike Sage, who only discovered he suffered from the condition by chance.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration (or AMD) is another very common cause of sight problems in older people.

There are two types of AMD – the more common dry version, which can’t be treated, and the aggressive, but less common wet version that, if caught early enough, can be halted or slowed or, using the very latest drugs, even reversed.

Mark discusses one of these new treatments, anti-VEGF therapy, with Andrew Lotery, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Southampton and founder of the vision research charity Gift of Sight, who has a special interest in AMD. Only two anti-VEGF therapies - Lucentis and Macugen - are currently licensed for the treatment of wet AMD.

He also speaks to AMD sufferer David Hammond who is hoping to benefit from the treatment.
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