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Genetic Testing for Macular Degeneration

light eyes and genetics are among the risk factors for macular degenerationMacular degeneration is primarily an inherited disease. Dr. Virani, the Katy eye doctor is an experienced diagnostician specializing in AMD (age related macular degeneration) screening and treatment. Macula Risk is a genetic test that identifies those who have inherited any of the genes associated with this eye disease. Individuals carrying these genes have an increased risk of losing their vision as they age. Once identified, those patients would be monitored more closely and can start sight-saving treatment sooner.

The Katy eye care clinic takes a swab from the inside of the cheek and sends it to a genetics lab. The results take a couple of weeks. The test result shows the patient’s risk for wet macular degeneration that causes vision loss and blindness.

This exciting new science will tell us if a patient has a higher risk of wet macular degeneration and requires more frequent exams to catch the disease earlier, allowing the Katy optometrist to start treatment sooner. As soon as there are new vessels in the macula, an indication of disease progression, the Katy eye doctor would prescribe therapy to prevent the vessels from growing. It is those new vessels that cause the loss of vision and only recently have medications been available to slow down, or reverse, this progress.

Will the DNA Test Be Covered by Insurance?

Medicare and most medical insurance companies will pay for the test once very early macular degeneration has been diagnosed.

 

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