As we age, our vision can be influenced and changed by many things.  Some are preventable, and some are not.  Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one disorder largely affected by something out of our control, our age.

What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Age-related Macular Degeneration is a disorder affecting the macula (part of the retina that affects central vision) of the eye.  There are typically two types, dry and wet.  Approximately 90% of people who acquire AMD get dry AMD.  The tissue of the macula wears thinner over time and allows for fatty deposits to occur in the retina.  This is the less serious form of AMD between the two, but can still evolve into vision loss.

Wet AMD happens as new, unstable blood vessels grow underneath the retina in an attempt to improve the blood supply to the eye.  The instability of the blood vessels, however, can allow leaking to occur which can scar the macula.  Quicker and more severe vision loss is the result of wet AMD.  Luckily, it is the least likely form to develop, accounting for only 10% of the AMD population.

Who Is At Risk?

As suggested by its name, age-related macular degeneration is influenced by age.  It is one of the leading causes of vision loss in persons older than 5o years old.  Not only does age affect its likelihood to occur, but race and genetics can also play a factor.  Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to change those influencing factors, but we can make efforts to maintain good health otherwise, which has been proven to increase overall eye health.   Choosing not to smoke will also reduce your chances of developing either forms of AMD.

What to Watch For?

In AMD, the macula deteriorates over time.  The symptoms of it can go undetected for a long time if not being screened for it through your annual eye exams.  Eventually, though, dark spots or blurry patches could occur in your central vision and objects may seem to lose their vibrancy, appearing much less bright than normal.

If you have been experiencing any of those symptoms or suspect you might have AMD, please come by our office and allow Dr. Smith to take a closer look!  We care about the quality of your vision.  435.359.2020

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