Age-Related Macular Degeneration – Know the Risks, Save Your Sight

Age related macular degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among individuals age 65 and over in the United States. Thanks to advances in medical technology, new treatments have been developed over the past few years that can save vision threatened by AMD, but early detection is an imperative first step.

What is AMD?

Age-Related Macular Degeneration occurs when the part of the retina called the macula is damaged. This damage causes you to lose your central vision, limiting your ability to see small details, no matter how close you are to them. For example, if you looked at an analog clock you would be able to see the numbers, but not the hands.

There are two types of AMD. The first, Dry AMD, is the most common and accounts for about 80% of AMD cases. As you age, portions of the macula in your eye may become thinner and grow small clumps of protein. This Dry AMD causes a slow loss of central vision, and unfortunately once the vision is lost it cannot be restored.

The second type is Wet AMD, which occurs less frequently but is much more serious. With Wet AMD, new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels can then leak blood or other fluids, and cause scarring of the macula. Vision is lost much faster with Wet AMD, and again cannot be restored.

Who is at risk?

There are many factors that can increase your risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. According to the American Academy of Opthalmology, here are the top five risk factors:

1. Being over 60 years of age.
2. Having a family history of AMD.
3. Smoking.
4. Obesity.
5. Hypertension.

If you identify with two or more of these factors, you may be at risk for AMD. Schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist today to talk about the best ways to reduce your chances of vision loss.

If you have questions about Age-Related Macular Degeneration or other eye conditions, contact the experts at Corrective Eye Center today! Our team will work hard to bring you 20/20 vision in 2019.