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Age-related Macular Degeneration

What is Age-related Macular Degeneration???

 

Age-related Macular Degeneration also known as (AMD) is the leading cause to vision loss with millions of adults over the age of 50 already affected. There is no cure for this eye disease but there are symptoms you can look for and things you can do to try and slow down the progression.

AMD is an eye disease that occurs when there are changes to the macula, which is a small portion of the retina that is located in the back layer of the eye. This eye disease occurs in both eyes but one eye may progress differently than the other. There are two forms of Age-related Macular Degeneration; one is known as the dry form and it affects 80-90% of individuals with AMD. This form tends to progress more slowly than the wet form and as of now there are no approved treatments or cures for dry AMD.

 

A few things that put you at higher risk of getting Age-related Macular Degeneration:

Age – the disease is more likely to affect people over the age of 60

Genetics – if you have family history of AMD than that can put you at a higher risk of getting it

Gender – Women end up getting AMD more often than men because women tend to live longer

Smoking – can double your risk

Sun exposure – UV rays may increase your risk of AMD

Race – AMD is more common among Caucasians

 

Some early signs of Age-related Macular Degeneration are:

  • Distorted shapes
  • Dark or empty area in the center of the eye
  • Straight lines looking wavy
  • Gradual inability to see objects
  • Loss of color

 

Most of the time early signs of AMD can go without notice so that is why it is so important to get yearly eye exams, know your family history, and to maintain good health. If you notice a change in your vision please make sure to contact your eye doctor immediately!