A European clinical trial will compare the effectiveness of two treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to improve outcomes for those living with the condition.
With the support of The European Society of Retina Specialists (EURETINA), Fight for Sight is funding the TIGER study led by researchers at King's College London and including over two hundred participants.
Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of permanent and severe sight loss in the UK, with 1.2 million people having the early stages of the condition and 700,000 people in the later stage.
Interim Chief Executive of Fight for Sight, Ikram Dahman, said: "Due to an ageing population the number of people living with sight loss from conditions like age-related macular degeneration is set to rise significantly, severely impacting people's quality of life. That's why funding research like the TIGER study is more important than ever."
King's College London researchers, led by Professor Timothy Jackson, test a novel treatment to clear sight-threatening blood clots that a small percentage of people with wet AMD experience. This surgical intervention will be compared to the existing treatment of repeated injections.
Professor Jackson said: "Many eye surgeons consider that surgery has the potential to improve vision compared to injections, but surgery carried downsides including the risk of complications. We do not know the net effect of these contrasting risks and benefits, which is why we need a trial to compare surgery plus injections to injections alone. Our aim is to find out if surgery is more likely to improve vision than standard care with anti-VEGF injections alone. If the surgery is proven effective, it can be made available to more people, and surgeons can use it with greater certainty."