eye disease macular degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Week

Our eyes matter. It’s the truth and it’s also the theme of AMD Awareness Week. AMD stands for Age-related Macular Degeneration. Here are the facts about AMD.

Age-related Macular Degeneration is an eye disease that is the leading loss of vision for people age 50 and older. Now it doesn’t necessarily cause complete blindness since it affects the macula in the center of your eye. The macula is a small spot near the center of your retina. This is where you have the sharpest vision. AMD can cause a blind spot or blurriness which can affect your ability to see, read, perform tasks, or drive.

Age-related Macular Degeneration is more likely to occur after 60 years of age. Other factors are smoking, race, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, poor diet and high sun exposure. Smoking has been shown to double the risk of AMG. Caucasians have a higher incidence of AMD. It is genetic so if your family has a history of AMD, you should have regular comprehensive eye exams.

AMD can be diagnosed by regular eye exams. Early diagnosis can help prevent or reduce loss of vision. The early stages of AMD may have little to no symptoms so it’s important to see your eye doctor. Symptoms may not occur until later stages of the disease or becomes noticeable when vision in one or both eyes are affected.

For more information about age-related macular degeneration and info about treatment, visit the National Eye Insitute.