Medical errors could impact patient quality of life

A study of 644 patients who underwent a dilated eye exam revealed that roughly a quarter who were deemed healthy showed signs of a degenerative condition. This condition is called age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, and it typically impacts New Jersey residents and others who are 50 and older. The average age of the individuals in the study was 69. As the population gets older, there could be an increasing number of people impacted by AMD.

AMD makes it harder to read a book, drive a car and perform other tasks. While there is no cure for it, there are ways that healthcare professionals can slow the progression of the condition. For instance, it may be possible to use anti-VEGF medications or AREDS2 vitamin and mineral supplements to help patients. As many cases of AMD were missed by professionals in the study, the researchers urged individuals to learn the signs and symptoms of this health issue.

Risk factors include being over the age of 60, being a woman or having a history of exposure to sunlight. Those who see a black spot when they look straight ahead should make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible. Straight lines that appear wavy are another warning sign to make an appointment with a healthcare professional right away.

If a misdiagnosis causes delayed treatment, it could be an example of medical malpractice. Even if a condition cannot be cured, a doctor may still be negligent because a patient could not seek treatment to improve his or her quality of life in the short term. An attorney may review a case to determine if a doctor breached the duty of care he or she had to a patient to diagnose a condition.

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