To raise awareness of a leading cause of vision loss among people 50 and older, here is some information about age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Since February is AMD awareness month, we’d like to provide some useful material so you can understand the basics of the condition, know what to look for, and be attentive to your vision health.
What is AMD?
Age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease that mostly affects those who are 50 or older. It causes vision loss in the center of your field of vision. There are two types of AMD – dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. With dry, the center of the retina deteriorates. With wet, leaky blood vessels grow under the retina. Dry AMD is the most common.
What are the symptoms?
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. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, or having trouble with daily tasks like reading, cooking, driving, seeing in dim light or looking at faces, contact your eye doctor as soon as you can and make an appointment.
Are you at risk?
There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of developing AMD. It’s best to discuss these factors with your doctor. Here are some of the risk factors:
- Family history of AMD
- Over the age of 50
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol