You may have heard of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), or perhaps you know someone who has been diagnosed with the condition. But if you’re like most people, you’re probably are not very familiar with the details of the condition. Below we’ve summarized the most important facts you need to know about this eye disease, and what steps you can take to prevent and treat it.
Macular degeneration is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older (though it’s most likely to occur after age 60). Someone with AMD has damage to their macula, the most sensitive part of the retina that allows us to see objects straight ahead. Someone with macular degeneration may develop blank spots in their central vision or see objects dimly.
How fast the disease progresses depends on the individual, with some people not noticing any changes to their vision for a long time. Macular degeneration by itself does not leave individuals completely blind, but it can hinder everyday activities, such as seeing faces clearly, driving, reading, writing or work that requires seeing closely.
Factors that contribute to macular degeneration are:
While there is nothing you can do to prevent aging (if you have found the fountain of youth, please let all of us know!), there are certain lifestyle activities that you can do to prevent macular degeneration.
And in addition to all of those things, be sure to get frequent eye exams from your optometrist. Your optometrist can give specific recommendations based on your lifestyle and can perform the necessary tests to detect macular degeneration. Be sure to ask clarifying questions if you do not understand what your eye doctor tells you, such as:
For further information about macular degeneration, visit this article or be sure to schedule an appointment with your optometrist. If you don’t have vision insurance, learn more about VSP vision insurance today and get your eye exam within the week.