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Living Healthy

New treatment for people suffering from eye diseases

BOSTON (WHDH) -- There's new hope for people suffering from eye diseases.

Jetrea is finally here.

The drug to treat the debilitating eye disease - is available for the public.

"This drug is really a significant step forward; it's the first drug in its class so it's really unique," said Dr. Alexander Eaton, ophthalmologist.

Diane Keen knows the importance of this breakthrough.

"I can't do most things, I can't read, can't drive , sometimes it's hard to communicate if you can't see who you're talking to, so it's pretty important," said Keen.

Keen has vitreo-macular adhesion or VMA.

She will be one of the first in the United States to receive the Jetrea treatment for VMA.

"It's an adhesion between the gel in the eye and the retina, why some people get it and others don't I don't think we really know," said Dr. Eaton.

The adhesion causes pulling between the gel and the eye in the retina, which can be painful and lead to vision loss.

This drug is the only option besides surgery to separate the two, Jetrea can also be used on patients with holes in their retina.

After numbing agents, it's injected directly into the eye.

Keen is hopeful the treatment works.

"It may be that you're better within a few days, that's certainly very possible," said Dr. Eaton.

The possibilities - go beyond this room.

"It's exciting to be one of the first and hopefully other people will benefit," said Keen.

The price is different for every patient because it's based on your specific health insurance plan - so check with your doctor.