Eye Conditions: Age-Related Macular Degeneration
For this week’s blog, we are finishing up our series about eye conditions found in adults. We hope you’ve learned something new. We are always here for you in your eye health journey.
Hello, everyone! This is our third and final blog in our adult eye condition series. Thank you so much for following along. Today we will be discussing Age-Related Macular Degeneration. We will be discussing its early warning signs, how you can prevent it, and its causes.
Age-related macular degeneration – or AMD – is another cause of vision loss in those over 60. It is a disease that affects your retina and will lead to the loss of vision in the center of your eye. This is caused when a part of your retina, called the macula, wears down. The macula is located at the center of your retina. You will be able to see at the peripheral sides of your vision, but that middle part of your vision will go away. There are two types of AMD, wet and dry. Dry AMD is the most common between the two. If you have dry AMD, little clumps of frusch, or protein, grow and cause you to lose that central part of your vision. Wet AMD is much less common but more damaging to the eye. Abnormal blood vessels grow under your retina and could leak fluids or blood. This causes the macula to become scarred and damaged. This leads to the loss of that central part of your vision. It is important to continue with regular checkups with your optometrist. Many people who have this disease won’t know they have it until their vision begins to blur. It is best to catch it early to slow its progression. According to the America Degeneration Foundation, there is no cure. Research is still being conducted to find one.
The treatment for the early stages of dry AMD includes a healthy diet high in antioxidants to help support the health of the macula. This will make the chances of the macula breaking down much smaller. If dry AMD is further along, it can be treated with supplements with higher levels of minerals and vitamins. This continues to support healthy cell structure within the eye. Treatments for wet AMD are more complicated. Scientists and doctors have found some success with laser treatments. But, these treatments aren’t always guaranteed. Most would prefer to find a much better and different option.
HOW TO HELP
There are a few things you can do right now to help decrease the risk of AMD. They can also slow down the progress if you’re at high risk.
- Continue to get regular eye exams.
- Always protect your eyes when you’re outside. Wear sunglasses and a hat.
- Maintain a consistent and healthy exercise regime.
- Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
- Eat a healthy and nutritious diet to maintain a healthy weight.
- Don’t smoke, and quit if you already are.
As we’ve mentioned before, pay attention to any changes in your eyes and eyesight. AMD has very specific symptoms to be aware of.
- You develop a sensitivity to glares.
- You begin having trouble seeing or reading in low light.
- If you see blurry sections when reading.
- Straight lines become wavy or distorted.
- Your vision becomes blurry.
Like many other conditions, there are a few facts that play into your chances of getting AMD.
- If your family has a history of AMD.
- You have high blood pressure, or high blood pressure runs in the family.
- You are 50 years of age or older.
- If you are a smoker.
- If you’re overweight.
- If you have a poor diet.
We hope you enjoyed your continued education in this blog series. After reading all three, continue to take your eye care to heart. Pay attention to all of the risk factors, be aware of your family’s health history, and follow all of the preventative health steps. Don’t forget to get regular eye exams, and call us if you haven’t made an appointment for one yet. We are here to help and support you during this potentially difficult time. As we begin to head back to some sense of normal, continue to stay safe. Until next time, we are here for all of your eye care needs!