DES MOINES – A new treatment for geographic atrophy, a form of macular degeneration, was approved by the FDA and is now being administered to patients in Iowa.

Geographic atrophy is the leading cause of blindness for Americans 60 and older and causes blurring or complete loss of vision in the center part of the eye due to retina damage.

Syfovre is the drug approved by the FDA to treat GA and it’s already being used to treat patients.

Dr. Jared Nielsen MD, MBA, FASRS, an eye doctor at Wolfe Eye Clinic, said that Syfovre is the first ever treatment to treat patients with GA.

“For many years my retina colleagues used to say they were the ministers that only did funerals and only had to hand out bad news to folks. And every day I get to treat people and preserve their way of life, their vision the things that they like to do and that’s a great blessing. And to have additional tools to offer for patients and the hope of having new tools in the future is amazing to me, as somebody whose trying to help people with their vision loss,” Dr. Nielsen said.

Dr Nielsen said that not every patient with GA is a candidate for treatment with Syfovre.

“The treatment is not for everybody not everybody that has geographic atrophy is a candidate for Syfovre and that’s important to understand. It’s important to understand that Syfovre is useful in delaying the progression of the disease, it doesn’t stop it, so we will see some progression over time,” Dr, Nielsen said.

Wolfe Eye Clinic has a research division that has worked with drugs like Syfovre as well as others to treat eye diseases. Dr. Nielsen is hopeful that future research and treatments will lead to a cure for patients with GA.