Did you know that February is AMD & Low Vision Awareness Month? Sweeney Eye Associates would like to help bring awareness to AMD, as well as the symptoms and therapies that can help prevent vision loss. Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), is one of the leading causes of vision loss in the country, affecting 2 million people over the age of 50 in the U.S. AMD is the breakdown of the macula, a small spot in the retina that is responsible for our central vision and gives us sharp and clear vision.
The primary cause of AMD is from aging. However, it can occur at any age, and certain factors can also increase the chance of developing the condition. These risk factors include smoking which doubles your risk, if you have a family history of AMD, and certain race- Caucasians are more susceptible.
The symptoms of AMD are usually gradual, painless, and can vary for each person. Most of the time, people will not realize they have AMD until vision loss has already begun to occur. This is why it is very important to see your ophthalmologist regularly in order to catch early warning signs of the disease. The visual symptoms of AMD include blurry vision, distortion of straight lines or objects, difficulty reading, difficulty recognizing faces, and decreased saturation of colors.
Although there is no actual cure to reverse vision damage caused by AMD, there are a few therapies that can help halt or reduce the rate of vision loss. Antioxidant vitamins and zinc supplements, and consuming dark leafy greens and colorful fruits and vegetables are simple steps that can be taken in your everyday lifestyle. Also, keeping an Amsler-Grid at home will help alert you if your vision might indicate a potential problem.
Early detection is the key to slowing vision loss associated with AMD. It is important to constantly monitor the symptoms and make sure to see an ophthalmologist regularly. To learn more about AMD, call Sweeney Eye Associates at either of our locations or click here.