Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Knowing Your Risk

There are many changes that our body goes through as we age. This includes our eyesight, which can be impacted by conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, or AMD. This condition affects over 9 million people in the United States over the age of 40. This condition, sometimes referred to as “low vision,” can cause patients to see no better than 20/70 in the eye less impacted by the condition.

What is age-related macular degeneration?

The macula is the center of the retina. When the condition impacts the eyesight, it becomes a progressive disease that can become worse over time. It can make it difficult for patients to focus on what they are seeing, whether it’s faces at a party or text in a book.

Who is at risk for age-related macular degeneration?

While the cause of developing AMD has not been specifically determined, it has been found that certain factors can increase one’s risk of developing this disease. This includes patients who are:

  • Over the age of 50
  • Experiencing high blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Consuming a diet with high levels of fat intake
  • Genetically at risk for AMD
  • Caucasian

What are the types of AMD that can develop?

There are two primary varieties of AMD, including dry AMD and wet AMD. Dry AMD accounts for most cases of age-related macular degeneration. This condition may be slowed with a higher consumption of certain antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Wet AMD is caused by a leak in the blood vessels underneath the retina. For this condition, medication can stop new blood vessel growth. Some patients may also be able to slow the progression with treatments such as photodynamic therapy or laser treatments.

Ready to undergo an examination to keep your eyesight clear and your eyes healthy?

Consider visiting Thom Eye and Laser Clinic in Fargo, ND to speak with Dr. Steve Thom about your eyesight needs. If you feel as though you may be dealing with age-related macular degeneration, you need to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible for an evaluation. Call our premier eye care center at 2601 University Drive S at (701) 235-5200 to schedule an appointment.

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