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February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month, and we are here to share!
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe, permanent vision loss in people over age 60, but new treatments have dramatically changed the course of this disease over the last 10 years, making AMD more manageable than ever before. You can save their vision thanks to recent treatment advances, but early detection is a critical first step.
AMD happens when the small central portion of your retina, called the macula, wears down. The retina is the light-sensing nerve tissue at the back of your eye. Because the disease happens as you get older, it’s often called age-related macular degeneration. It usually doesn’t cause blindness but might cause severe vision problems. Another form of macular degeneration, called Stargardt disease or juvenile macular degeneration, affects children and young adults.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Early on, you might not have any noticeable signs. It might not be diagnosed until it gets worse or affects both eyes. Symptoms of macular degeneration may include:
If you have any of these symptoms, go to an eye doctor as soon as possible.
Causes of Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is more common in older people. It’s the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over 60. Macular degeneration may have something to do with your genes. If someone in your family has it, your risk might be higher. Smoking, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, obesity, eating lots of saturated fat, being light-skinned, being female, and having a light eye color are also risk factors.
Macular Degeneration Prevention
A large study found that some people with dry AMD could slow the disease by taking supplements of vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and copper. Ask your doctor whether these supplements would help you.