Did you know that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye condition that can slowly steal your central vision? February is AMD Awareness Month, a perfect time to educate yourself on this progressive eye condition that is the number one cause of severe vision loss and legal blindness in adults over age 65 in the United States.
AMD is a condition that attacks the macula of the eye and eats away at your clear, “straight ahead” central vision necessary for driving, identifying faces, watching TV, and doing other everyday tasks that require you to see detail.
Types of AMD
There are two different types of AMD, dry and wet. Dry AMD is the most common type and appears when drusen—hard, yellow, extracellular tissue—builds up in the macula of the eye. Wet AMD is the result of an abnormal growth of blood vessels underneath the macula. When these blood vessels leak into the retina, they create blind spots and can permanently affect central vision. This can sometimes lead to complete vision loss.
Dimming central vision, distortion of letters/words and colors, and difficulty seeing contrast are signs of AMD. If you experience rapid change in or loss of central vision, this is a sign of wet AMD. This type of AMD is the most serious, so you should visit your eye doctor immediately to prevent significant vision loss.
Is there a cure for AMD?
Although there is no cure for AMD, treatments are available to alleviate the effects of the disease, including anti-angiogenic drugs, laser therapy, and even certain vitamins. Another approach is low-vision aids—such as magnifying devices and reading machines—which can help those with AMD use their remaining vision effectively.
It’s important to visit your eye doctor at least once a year to keep your eyes in top shape and to help identify and treat conditions like AMD.
Give us a call or visit our website to schedule your annual eye exam.