Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
The leading cause of blindness in men and women over age 50.
Macular degeneration (also called age-related macular degeneration or AMD) is a condition that affects the central portion of the retina, the light-sensitive part of the eye that’s located at the back of the eye. Even though AMD is common among older people, it’s not as well known as cataracts — another eye disease that occurs more often with age. But while cataracts can be treated and “cured,” there’s no cure for AMD. Instead, people who have AMD require treatments that help slow the progression of the disease. AMD typically causes no symptoms until vision begins to fade. Having routine eye exams, especially over age 50, is important for catching AMD as early as possible.
What are the risk factors for AMD?
Age is the biggest risk factor for AMD, followed by having a family history of AMD. You’re also at greater risk of developing AMD if you are:
- Caucasian (white)
- Have had prolonged sun exposure
- A smoker or past smoker
- Genetic predisposition
Can I reduce my risks of developing AMD?
One of the most important things you can do is have regular eye exams to monitor the health of your retinas.
Taking specific “eye vitamins” may help slow the progression of AMD, and it’s also important to take care of your overall health. Quitting smoking, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling your blood pressure and your cholesterol are important lifestyle changes you should consider.
You should also wear sunglasses that protect you from UVA and UVB rays and use blue light protection when operating a computer or your cell phone.
To learn more about AMD screening in Wichita or to schedule an eye exam, give us a call or book your appointment online.