A new technology is being offered by a private eye doctor that can detect an individual's risk of developing age related macular degeneration (AMD) , an incurable eye disease that leads to vision loss.
Alan Tyler, a Midlands-based optometrist, is now offering tests using the MacuScope, a new instrument that measures the density of macular protective pigment, low levels of which are an important predictor for AMD.
The private doctor explained: "While there is currently no cure for age-related macular degeneration we can help to prevent its onset by detecting symptoms early.
"By offering this assessment, currently not offered by the NHS, we hope to save the unnecessary loss of sight for more of our patients."
Dr Tyler added that the procedure, which costs as little as £20 and is recommended for all patients over the age of 30, is painless and non-invasive.
At-risk patients can then make recommended dietary changes and take supplements to restore the level of macular pigmentation and preserve their vision.
Tom Bremridge, chief executive of the UK's Macular Disease Society, said: "Early diagnosis of AMD is very important. We are delighted that Alan Tyler Opticians is taking this proactive step to provide better detection of eye disease than is currently available in most opticians."
What's better? Private or NHS healthcare?