Research Suggests Drug Could Help Keep Seniors Driving Longer

Seniors who suffer from a condition called wet age-related macular degeneration may suffer from deteriorating vision, and ultimately vision loss, dramatically impacting their ability to drive safely.  In fact, wet age-related macular degeneration is one of the primary causes for loss of driving privileges for many senior citizens. That could soon be a thing of the past.

According to researchers, the use of a drug called ranibizumab can help treat this condition, and could possibly allow senior drivers to continue driving for longer. The results of their study were published recently in the journal Ophthalmology.  The researchers wanted to study how wet age-related macular degeneration, which is so common among seniors, affected driving privileges, and whether ranibizumab helped the seniors improve their driving.

Wet age-related macular degeneration is a condition characterized by the development of abnormal blood vessels that begin to leak into the eye.  There may be complications like bleeding that ultimately impact the person’s vision.

Failing vision or deteriorating vision could increase the risk of an accident for a senior citizen.  When you combine failing vision with deteriorating hearing, delayed reflexes, slower coordination and a number of other age-related factors, you understand why seniors may have a higher risk of being involved in an accident.

The researchers found that the use of ranibizumab was a much more effective treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration than photodynamic laser therapy. The research found that the use of the drug did help senior citizens to perform better on their vision tests when they showed up for license renewals.

However, the researchers also admit to the shortcomings of the study, because of the small representative sample relative to the number of patients actually affected by wet age-related macular degeneration.