Age-related macular degeneration, also referred to as AMD, is an eye-related condition that most commonly affects those who are over the age of 60. Unfortunately, this is not a condition that many people know a lot about. Getting answers to the questions you have can help you to better understand this condition so you know what to expect if you or a loved one are diagnosed with it. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about age-related macular degeneration.
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration is caused by the macula breaking down and losing its sharpness and ability to focus simply due to age. In its early stages, AMD can cause blurriness in the center of what someone is seeing. As the disease progresses, the blurred area grows larger and larger until the vision of a person is drastically affected. While the disease does not cause someone to go blind, it can alter their vision to such a point that it affects their ability to do regular tasks, such as cooking, driving or matching their clothing.
What Are the Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
The number one symptoms of AMD is blurry vision. It starts off as a small spot and grows. Losing the ability to see items as clearly as you once could is another symptom. Lastly, those who are afflicted with this disease state that items look more dull and less bright or vibrant than they once did. It is important to note that AMD does not cause any pain within the eye.
How is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treated?
At this time, there is no way to cure or prevent macular degeneration. However, its progress can be slowed. Those who are diagnosed with this condition are treated in a variety of different ways to slow the diseases progress. Certain vitamins, such as Vitamin C and Zinc, have been shown to slow the disease. Additionally, some prescription medications and laser therapies have been shown to reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels within the eye, which can also slow down the progression of the disease.
If you are over the age of 60, it is recommended that you have your eyes examined every one to two years. One of the conditions that they check for is age-related macular degeneration. While age-related macular degeneration cannot be completely prevented or treated, the spread of the issues can be slowed when properly diagnosed early. This helps to minimize the damage that is done to the eyes. If it has been longer than two years since your last eye examine with an optometrist, now is the perfect time to schedule your appointment.