Report reveals burden of treatment for patients with wet AMD

In 2020, the Macular Society surveyed its members and supporters with wet AMD to understand their views of living with wet AMD and receiving treatment for their condition.

In total 456 people with wet AMD took part in the survey, which aimed to understand the burden of current treatments for wet AMD. These treatments require injections into the eye of a group of drugs called anti-VEGFs.

One key takeaway from this report is the anxiety people with AMD feel due to their treatment, regardless of how many years they have been having injections.

Fear and anxiety due to injections is common, especially at the beginning of treatment. Research has looked into the reasons why patients have anxiety, and ways to reduce it. However, the report notes that suffering with ongoing anxiety is notable, as it goes against the belief that over time patients are likely to become less anxious, as they become accustomed to frequent injections. As one patient said: “I worry about the future and each visit I worry about losing more of my vision.”

The report also highlights the associated burden of treatment, as two thirds of the respondents said they rely on family or friends to take them to and from their regular eye clinic appointments. “My daughters both live a distance from me so a whole day is needed… for every appointment. So this impacts considerably on family life for them as well as me.”

Cathy Yelf, chief executive of the Macular Society, said: “Even though patients and healthcare providers are trying their best, we know the burden and the associated burden of treatment for wet AMD is high.

“Through new advances in wet AMD treatment allowing for longer intervals between treatments, we hope that some of the burden for both patients and clinicians will be reduced.”

Geraldine Hoad, research manager at the Macular Society, added: “This survey was a timely reminder of the extent to which treatment for wet AMD impacts on patients and their friends and families. We’d like to thank all those who took the time to help us understand their experience of attending eye clinics for injections."