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Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Protect Your Central Vision

Like many eye diseases, age-related macular degeneration usually develops without any noticeable symptoms. However, this disease, which is also known as ARMD or AMD, may be managed with early detection. AMD causes loss of central vision, which is the portion of your sight that allows you to study fine details, read words and numbers, and recognize faces.

Over time, the vision loss can become so profound that it creates dark spots in the middle of your vision. Vision loss from AMD can be permanent, and managing the disease or mitigating its effects depends heavily on an early diagnosis.

AMD does not have to mean blindness for you. By taking a proactive approach to your eye health, you can help slow its progress and prevent further damage.

The Main Causes of AMD

As the name suggests, AMD is more common in the aging population. For the most part, adults under the age of 50 are unlikely to develop AMD. The older you get, the higher your risk for developing age-related macular degeneration, making annual eye exams even more important.

Age-related macular degeneration has the potential to be genetically derived. A family history of AMD puts you at a higher risk of developing it yourself. Some ethnic groups also seem to be more vulnerable than others. For example, Caucasians are more likely to develop the disease than people from other ethnic groups.

Certain lifestyle elements may increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. For example, patients who smoke cigarettes or struggle with obesity seem to be more vulnerable to the disease.

Even seemingly harmless elements such as ultraviolet light could impact your chances of developing AMD. Both long-term sunlight exposure and blue light from digital screens have been linked to age-related macular degeneration.

Types of AMD

AMD is progressive and can be split into two categories: wet age-related macular degeneration and dry age-related macular degeneration.n.

Dry AMD

Dry AMD is the more common of the two and tends to be less severe. In cases of dry AMD, fatty deposits called drusen start to collect around the macula, which is the small portion of the retina that is responsible for central vision. As the number of drusen increases, the macular cells sustain damage and begin to die, which limits the macula’s ability to detect light.

Wet AMD

Wet AMD is more advanced, and can develop when dry AMD goes untreated. In cases of wet AMD, the delicate blood vessels within the retina have become damaged over time.

These damaged blood vessels leak fluid into the macula. The body tries to replace these damaged blood vessels by growing new ones; however, the new blood vessels are irregular and weak, causing more leakage, which can result in scar tissue if left untreated. These abnormal vessels and leakage obstruct central vision.

“Patients can take a proactive stance against age-related macular degeneration, giving them a better chance of enjoying clear and complete vision, even in their later years. The single greatest thing you could do for your vision is to see your optometrist annually for testing. By the time patients have begun to experience symptoms, irreversible vision loss has already occurred. As such, early detection is crucial.”

Symptoms of AMD

For the most part, AMD does not present noticeable symptoms until its advanced stages. However, patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration may notice some indicators, including:

  • Blurry vision
  • Lines that should be straight appearing wavy
  • Sensitivity to glare
  • Difficulty reading, particularly in low light
  • Loss of central vision

MOA Best Practice Treatments

  • Comprehensive Retinal screening
  • Nutritional Supplementation

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