We are now offering virtual appointments; eye care you can trust from the comfort of your own home.

Click here for more information and for scheduling details.

alarm-ringing ambulance angle2 archive arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up at-sign baby baby2 bag binoculars book-open book2 bookmark2 bubble calendar-check calendar-empty camera2 cart chart-growth check chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up circle-minus circle city clapboard-play clipboard-empty clipboard-text clock clock2 cloud-download cloud-windy cloud clubs cog cross crown cube youtube diamond4 diamonds drop-crossed drop2 earth ellipsis envelope-open envelope exclamation eye-dropper eye facebook file-empty fire flag2 flare foursquare gift glasses google graph hammer-wrench heart-pulse heart home instagram joystick lamp layers lifebuoy link linkedin list lock magic-wand map-marker map medal-empty menu microscope minus moon mustache-glasses paper-plane paperclip papers pen pencil pie-chart pinterest plus-circle plus power pushpin question rain reading receipt recycle reminder sad shield-check smartphone smile soccer spades speed-medium spotlights star-empty star-half star store sun-glasses sun tag telephone thumbs-down thumbs-up tree tumblr twitter user users wheelchair write yelp youtube

What to Know About AMD

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss for people over 50.

What is AMD? It’s the gradual loss of central vision as the macula (the part of the retina where photoreceptor cells are most concentrated, giving us our detailed central vision) deteriorates. After a certain point, AMD makes it difficult or impossible to perform close-up tasks like reading and writing. Driving is also no longer an option.

What Are the Symptoms of AMD?

AMD is painless, and in the early stages, it doesn’t always have symptoms the patient will notice, which makes it very easy for the condition to go undetected until it becomes more advanced in patients who only go to the eye doctor when they need an updated glasses prescription. Over time, things might look duller or warped, and dark or blurry patches will begin to develop in the central vision.

Know Your Risk Factors

Age is the biggest risk factor of AMD, and like race and genetics, it’s not a risk factor we can help. Compared to other races, white people are most likely to develop AMD. Know your family’s eye health history and make sure your eye doctor knows. The one major risk factor we can control is smoking, which makes numerous sight-threatening conditions much more likely.

Wet AMD Versus Dry AMD

As many as 90% of AMD cases are the dry variety. Dry AMD happens when the tissues of the macula grow thinner over time and deposits of a fatty substance called drusin build up. Dry AMD is the less serious form, but it can develop into wet AMD.

In cases of wet AMD, the body attempts to combat the retina’s weakening blood supply by growing new blood vessels in the retina, but these are unstable and prone to leaking, which leaves the macula scarred and causes even more vision loss. Wet AMD also progresses more quickly than dry AMD.

Preventing and Slowing AMD Through Healthy Living

Currently, there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration, but that doesn’t mean we’re powerless against it. Building and maintaining an eye-healthy lifestyle will give your eyes the best tools against sight-threatening conditions. This means eating lots of fish, carrots, eggs, and leafy greens, getting regular exercise, and avoiding harmful habits like smoking.

The Role of the Eye Doctor

The most important weapon against AMD is early detection, and that means regular eye exams — even when nothing seems wrong with your vision. People over fifty (especially people with additional risk factors) should be getting yearly eye exams so that the eye doctor can catch the early signs and start fighting to slow down AMD’s progress.

Thank you for being part of our practice family!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.