What is Macular Degeneration?
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is an irreversible cause of vision loss in which the central part of the retina (the macula) becomes damaged. This results in blurry vision when you are looking straight ahead (central vision). Your peripheral vision typically remains normal.
What is Dry AMD?
Dry macular degeneration is quite common. About 85% of people who have AMD have the dry form. In this type of macular degeneration, parts of the macula get thinner with age. Tiny protein filled deposits called druse, also grow and can be detected with a dilated exam. At this time there is no way to treat dry AMD but taking eye vitamins (AREDS2, Preservision, Ocuvite) may help prevent it from getting worse.
What is Wet AMD?
Wet macular degeneration is less common but much more serious. In this type of AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. They may bleed and cause scarring of the macula. Often times you lose vision faster than with dry AMD and in fact most people don't realize they even have AMD until their vision gets very blurry. Wet AMD is typically treated with injections in the eye.
Who is at risk for AMD?
Risk factors include:
* Diets high in saturated fat
* Cigarette smoking
* >50 years old
* High blood pressure, heart disease, and high cholesterol
* Family history of AMD
* Caucasian race
"Is there anything I can do to help prevent AMD"?
Unfortunately there is no way to prevent AMD from developing completely. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk and potentially stop it from getting worse?
* Wearing sunglasses/UV protection
* Diet rich in green, leafy vegetables
* Stop smoking
* Eye vitamins (AREDS2, Preservision, Ocuvite) if recommended by your ophthalmologist
* Having regular eye exams
* Monitor your vision with an Amsler Grid
Schedule your exam to assess for macular degeneration
and other retinal diseases today!