February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month
Age-Related Macular Degeneration, or AMD, is the most common cause of visual loss in older Americans. The macula is the area of the retina in the back of the eye that is responsible for seeing details in the central vision. The retina is a thin layer of delicate nerve tissue that lines the inside wall of the eye like the film in a camera.
AMD affects the central vision, but it does not affect the peripheral vision, or the ability to see objects off to the side when looking straight ahead. Symptoms of AMD can vary from one person to the next, but changes in vision or blurry vision are usually the two most common early signs. While macular degeneration may occur at any stage of life, AMD is specifically related to a person’s age, with those 60 and older being more likely to develop the disease.
Two Types of AMD
- Dry macular degeneration is the most common type and involves the disintegration of the light-sensitive tissues in the macula. Loss of vision is usually gradual in dry macular degeneration.
- Wet Macular degeneration accounts of about 10% of all AMD cases. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula and cause fluid leakage, bleeding and scarring of the macula. Vision loss may be rapid and severe. If one eye develops wet AMD, there is about a 50% chance that the other eye will be affected within the next five years.
To Decrease Your Risk of AMD
These precautions may help to decrease your risk of AMD
- Eat green, leafy vegetables
- Wear UV eye protection
- Quit smoking—smokers have a 300% increased risk of developing AMD
Call to Schedule Your Comprehensive Eye Exam Today
Though AMD is not curable, there are several treatments that can help prevent symptoms from worsening. If you’re age 50 or older and are experiencing any symptoms of AMD, or if you have a family history of macular degeneration, call our office at (813) 425-9596 to schedule a comprehensive eye examination today.