Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an ocular disease that affects a person’s central vision. A person with the disease cannot see people or things placed right in front of them. But, this is not to say that he or she is blind. They can still see something but only in their peripheral. AMD only affects the parts that control central vision: the macular and the back of the retina. AMD is common among persons aged 50 years and above.
Doctors cannot point to something in particular that causes AMD. But, research suggests that it has something to do with heredity and lifestyle. Age may also be a factor because AMD develops as you get older, and the macula tissue thins out.
Age, as the name of this condition suggests, is the primary risk factor for AMD. Some other risk factors are smoking, family history, hypertension, and a family history of AMD. Excess weight and a diet of high saturated fats increase the likelihood of getting AMD. Also, persons of European descent are at a greater risk than others.
Cardiovascular diseases, which affect the blood vessels and the heart, also increase the likelihood of developing macular degeneration.
The symptoms of AMD come about slowly. You do not even feel any pain. They include:
Damage to the retina
Difficulty reading printed words because they appear blurry
Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
Eyes having difficulty adjusting to low light levels
Things appearing distorted, such as straight lines seeming bent
They need to have bright lights to be able to read
Colors start to appear less intense or bright
A specific blind or blurry spot in your field of vision
AMD may affect only one or both of your eyes. But, if only one eye is affected, you may fail to notice it. Your good eye compensates for the weak vision in the other eye. Also, even if both of your eyes are affected, you may not lose your entire vision. AMD does not cause total blindness.
The symptoms of AMD only come up when the disease advances. So, it would help if you had routine eye exams to diagnose and control AMD progression early. Also, some measures may help lessen your risk. They include:
Smokers have a more significant probability of developing macular degeneration than nonsmokers. If quitting the habit is too tough on you, ask your doctor for some assistance.
If you are overweight, change your diet and have a workout regime to get you to your ideal weight.
Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that bring down the risk of macular degeneration. Nuts also carry omega-3 fatty acids, especially walnuts.
A variety of vegetables and fruits is critical for you to have a healthy diet. These foods are rich in antioxidants that lessen your risk of developing AMD.
If you have a chronic medical condition like high blood pressure or any other cardiovascular disease, work with your doctor to bring it down. AMD is a severe eye condition that may reduce the quality of your vision and life.
Find out more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration & treatment, Contact Lifetime Vision and Eye Care in Miami Gardens, FL at (305) 902-3320.