By May Wong Ek Su, SIECRC

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a potentially sight-threatening eye condition characterised by damage to the macula which is a small spot at the back portion of the retina needed for sharp central vision.

AMD is the most common cause of severe irreversible vision loss amongst individuals aged 60 years and older in developed countries. It ranks third after cataract and glaucoma as leading causes of blindness globally. In Singapore, early and late AMD affect 9.6 and 2.5% of Malays aged 70-80 years respectively. The prevalence of AMD in Singapore Chinese and Singapore Indians are similar to those of the Malays.

On 18 August 2017, Dr Au Eong Kah Guan, Medical Director and Senior Consultant in Singapore International Eye Cataract Centre gave a Continuing Medical Education (CME) lecture on “Age-related Macular Degeneration: Current Concepts & Management” to doctors at Mount Elizabeth Hospital. It is compulsory for doctors in Singapore to attend CME lectures and these educational activities serve to maintain or develop the knowledge, skills and professional performance of doctors to provide better services to their patients.

Dr Au Eong shared the latest concepts and management on AMD with medical specialists and general practitioners who attended the lecture. One interesting fact highlighted during that the lecture is that cigarette smoking is the strongest environmental risk factor for AMD. Cigarette smoking is associated with a 3- to 4–fold increased risk of AMD. There are therefore potential benefits of preventing the development or progression of AMD by smoking cessation.

At the end of the lecture, Dr Au Eong had the opportunity to answer some of the questions raised by the audience during a lively question and answer session.

The CME lecture was chaired by Dr Khoo Boo Kian, a senior ophthalmologist from Paragon Medical Centre.