Introduction Post

Colin K -

Hi, my name is Colin Kwong. I am a senior at BASIS Phoenix and my project is entitled “The Impact of a Patient’s Life on Their Compliance to the Treatment Plan”. My interest in this topic was sparked about four years ago when I began to shadow my dad at his office.  During the process, I learned about specific retinal diseases such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).  My interest in becoming a retina specialist grew as I observed my dad interact with hundreds of patients, many of whom feared losing their vision. With my passion for retina being my driving force, I want to discover more about AMD and learn how to help more patients with AMD through researching my senior project.

There are two types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.  The first type is known as Dry AMD. The second type is referred to as Wet AMD. In the former there is a buildup of waste products in the eye, between the macula and the retina. This occurrence creates pressure on the retina, distorting a person’s vision. In the latter, the rapid formation of blood vessels and their subsequent leakage cause swelling, bleeding, and scarring in the eye which leads to more vision loss. AMD often begins to form in the eyes of most adults once they reach the age of 50.

 Throughout this project I will be using survey-gathered data in order to research what the burdens are on a patient needing to be treated for diseases like Age Related Macular Degeneration. With this project I will be able to work alongside actual retinal specialists, such as my advisor Dr. Welch, so that I can discover better methods to raise a patient’s ability to comply with their treatment plan. With the survey, which leans more to learning how physically coming into the office for treatments can be a major burden on patients and their families, I plan to find ways to make patients more compliant with their treatment plans.

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    Hi Colin! This project sounds really interesting! I can't wait to see what you find! My grandmother used to be an eye doctor, so this is particularly fascinating to me. Just one question: why AMD specifically out of other retinal conditions?
    Hey Colin! This is a great topic. Just a quick question: How are the current treatment plans generally structured, and what are potential ways they could change?
    Hey Yajat, right now general treatment plans follow anywhere from monthly to yearly injections into the eye to help slow or stop the degeneration of the eye. There are also some laser surgeries to help close leaking blood vessels if injections aren't working as well as they could be or if a patient is uncomfortable with many injections.
    Hi Lyn, I decided to research this topic specifically with AMD due to shadowing my dad at his office. While shadowing I mostly learned and understood what he was teaching me about AMD so I felt like it would be easier for me to talk about AMD rather than a disease I am less familiar with like diabetic retinopathy.
    Rhea R
    Hey Colin, This sounds like such an interesting project idea! Causes of blindness and the eyes in general have always been fascinating and I'm excited to see how you observe and contribute to bettering the lifestyle that results from the effects of AMD. Do you know if there's any specific reason or risk factors as to why some people have more waste buildup in the eye than others?

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