with hemochromatosis (iron overload) unless a person is diagnosed using the full iron panel : Hemoglobin : the iron-containing. Iron accumulates in the body with age because we continue to absorb it from our diets, but we excrete very little, Dunaief said. Serum ferritin : indicates the amount of iron stored in the body, via the protein ferritin. Iron may accumulate to even higher levels in diseased retinas because low oxygen levels (hypoxia) or inflammation can cause cells to retain iron. Right now, the only known treatment for hhcs is cataract surgery. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is regarded as the leading cause of vision loss for people over the age. Joshua Dunaief, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The macula, a small portion of the retina which is responsible for sharp and detailed vision, deteriorates over time when the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) surrounding the macula oxidizes triggering an inflammatory response. Deferiprone can protect the retinas of mice by entering the retina and removing iron from it, said Dunaief, whose lab is currently testing additional drugs to prevent iron accumulation in the eye. Home / Iron Blog, iron contributes to the leading causes of vision loss. Attachment, posted on Mon, June 20, 2016 by Kayla Wiles. A liver biopsy will show that the patient does not have iron overload. Normally the RPE has ways to prevent iron from entering the retina when iron levels are high, but if iron export from cells is unregulated, iron may accumulate in the eye and degrade the macula.