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.
The hustle and bustle of the holidays can make gift shopping a daunting and time-consuming task! How do you choose the perfect gift for your loved one, when they deserve the world? Why not give them the gift of clear vision at Sweeney Eye Associates! LASIK or Cataract Removal surgery are both gifts that can last a lifetime! Imagine your loved one no longer having to worry about relying on their glasses every day for driving, reading, working, or for their hobbies.
There are also several charitable ways to give the gift of sight this holiday season. Donating your glasses is a great way to give the gift of sight to those who are less fortunate. Whether you no longer need them due to a vision correction procedure or if you just get a new pair, your old glasses can be cleaned and repaired. They are then given to those with the same prescription, or very close, that might otherwise not be able to afford glasses.
Another way to give the gift of sight is through organ donation. Eye donation involves just the cornea, which is the clear front layer that allows us to see, and not the actual iris itself. Whenever you sign up to be an organ donor, you can also opt to be a tissue donor as well which has less restrictions than standard organ donation.
Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of 40 and more than half of all Americans will develop a cataract by the time they reach 80 years of age.
A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens and as it progresses, you might start to notice these symptoms:
Your vision becomes blurry or cloudy, like looking through fogged glass.
Everyday tasks become difficult, such as reading, driving (especially at night), or seeing facial expressions.
Develop a sensitivity to light and glare.
Start seeing “halos” around lights
Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
If you are noticing any of these symptoms then cataract surgery may be your best option!
Thanks to advances in technology, Sweeney Eye Associates can provide cataract surgery that is safer and more precise than ever, offering better outcomes and shorter recover times than cataract surgery in the past.