Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is the deterioration of an area called the macula, which is in the center of the retina. As the macula deteriorates, gradual vision loss occurs. It usually starts after age 65, yet some people might start to see signs earlier if the disease runs in their family.
When the central part of your eye (the macula) deteriorates, it’s difficult for images to be focused properly and relayed to your brain for eyesight. Macular degeneration is associated with aging, but there also are genetic factors that can impact it. Heredity, UV exposure, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity/inactivity, and even light eye color have been known to contribute to macular degeneration.
When you suffer from AMD, you might experience a number of symptoms. Your central vision may become blurry or distorted, and objects may appear in unusual sizes or shapes. There are two types of age-related macular degeneration: Dry and Wet. Dry AMD develops over time, while Wet AMD seems to come on quickly.
Regular eye exams are important to catch macular degeneration early and avoid vision loss. An eye-healthy diet, medications, surgery, and UV protection may prevent further vision loss, but will not restore your vision. To learn more about protecting your eyes from UV exposure, click here.
Currently, there’s no cure for age-related macular degeneration, but some treatments may delay its progression or even improve vision.
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