You may be tempted to skip your visits to the eye doctor when you don’t need a yearly update on your prescription. But, just like the dentist, you should make it a point to visit your eye doctor regularly. Even if you don’t need glasses or contacts, your eye doctor can help identify the early signs of aging such as needing reading glasses or even early signs of disease. Age-related issues including serious concerns such as Macular Degeneration can be hard to identify yourself. Macular Degeneration affects millions of Americans every year, so keep reading to learn more about it and what you should watch out for.
What is it?
Macular Degeneration is an issue that affects the macula, which is the center of the retina of the eye (the part of the eye that collects visuals). When the cells of the macula start to deteriorate this is called Macular Degeneration. This disease is currently not curable, though we are still learning more about it.
How can I identify Macular Degeneration?
Patients may not notice the earliest signs of Macular Degeneration, but they can be identified by your eye doctor–which is why having regular eye appointments with your doctor is important. You may start to notice blurred or wavy vision. It may stop there, or your issue may get worse. Your vision may even be completely obscured if you have a severe case. In some cases, patients may even qualify to call themselves legally blind.
What causes Macular Degeneration?
Macular Degeneration isn’t well-researched enough for us to truly understand what causes it. We do know that there are risk factors that increase your chances of developing Macular Degeneration. For example, smoking and genetic factors increase your chances of developing Macular Degeneration. Also, Macular Degeneration is more likely to occur in patients who are Caucasian, and those who are over the age of 55.
Understanding how your vision changes as you age may help you identify and anticipate issues before they become serious. Call us to learn more about keeping your eyes healthy. Please call (701) 235-5200 to learn more or to schedule a consultation today.