February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Month
Age–Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) has been known as a leading cause of blindness in older individuals in America. The good news is that during the last 10 years new treatments have changed the outcome and AMD is now more easily managed. With keeping routine and follow-up appointments early detection occurs and new treatments that have been uncovered can be applied.
There is a lot to know about AMD and basic information will be broken down for you during the 4 weeks of February. This week the focus is on risk factors and symptoms of AMD. Even though it usually occurs in people age 50 and older, it often occurs when over 60 and affects what we see or don’t see straight ahead of us. Sometimes it advances slowly and in some progression occurs more quickly. A common symptom is a blurred area and distortion near the center of the vision which may grow larger. Also, what you see is often dim when compared to the former brightness. One does not become completely blind but the central vision loss can be life changing. Simple, but important things are no longer an option such as seeing faces, driving, cooking, and repairing things around the house. The loss of such core vision can make one feel handicapped. The photo below demonstrates the loss of central vision in someone with AMD.
The Risk Factors include:
AMD may occur earlier but usually after age 60
The risk of AMD doubles in the patient that smokes, according to research
AMD is more common among Caucasians.
Family history and genetics –
If someone in your family has AMD you are more at risk.
At least 20 genes have been identified for affecting the development of AMD.
Some risk factors can be changed and some cannot. Lifestyle can make a difference so reducing your risk factors by making healthy choices could be to your advantage. These healthy choices include:
Watch blood pressure and cholesterol
Eat healthy diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish
We hope you gain knowledge from the information offered here which was taken from the sources at the following links:
If you desire an appointment at Eye Physicians and Surgeons please call 302-652-3353.
PHOTO CREDIT AMDF