February is Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to shine a spotlight on the age-related type of this painless chronic condition that has caused central vision loss in millions of Americans.
Age-related macular degeneration affects the macula, which is located in the center of the eye’s retina and allows individuals to see fine details clearly when reading or performing and array of other tasks like threading a needle. There are two forms of the disease – dry and wet. Dry is not as serious and tends to develop slowly over time, whereas wet can occur suddenly or gradually over time and progress rapidly. Symptoms include blind spots; a difference in the appearance of color; distorted vision where straight lines appear wavy or bent; blurred or decreased vision when looking straight ahead, either at a distance or close up; and objects appearing different in color, shape or size in one eye compared to the other.
Age-related macular degeneration can develop as part of the natural aging process, and individuals might not be aware that they have the condition until they experience changes in their vision or it is found during an eye exam.
It is important for aging older adults to visit their eye doctors for routine vision exams. If you haven’t been in a while, consider making an appointment today.