The leading cause of vision loss among Americans over the age of 65, is Macular Degeneration. MD or AMD (age-related macular degeneration) can be defined as a degenerative condition affecting the central part of the retina and resulting in distortion or loss of central vision.
Fun stuff right? While we agree it sounds scary, we want to give you some background so you can take steps now to potentially avoid it in the future.
- Family history
- Smoke cigarettes
- High blood pressure
- Are over the age of 60
What you can NOT control
One of the first steps we recommend when it comes to preparing for MD is to check your family history. Check with your family members to see if anyone has had it in the past. Make sure to let us know if you do have a family history of it.
High blood pressure is another one that can be due to family history, so if you have it, or know someone in your family does make sure to let us know.
Of course, being over the age of 60 is beyond your control too. We will take your age into consideration along with all the other information to let you know if you could be at a higher risk.
If you are genetically pre-disposed, there is a dietary supplement that could help to lower your risk.
What you CAN control
Aside from the things you can’t do much about, the other factors are within your control. If you are a smoker, now is a good time to consider quitting. Along with the many other health risks, it can contribute to MD.
Obesity is within your control as well. In other posts we have talked about how much your physical health can affect your eye health. Making sure to eat a balanced diet as well as get regular exercise will help with the extra weight and ultimately help you ward off MD.
There are two kinds of MD:
- Wet MD: causes fluid to leak from blood vessels in the eye. This is the most dangerous as it can cause the most severe vision loss quickly.
- Dry MD: the most common form does not have a fluid leak.
Watch out for sudden and noticeable loss of vision or distortion of vision. These are signs that you need to come in to see us as soon as possible.
The earlier we can catch MD the better chance you have of stopping its progression. As always make your yearly eye appointment, but also take the necessary steps to be aware of your eye health.
We are here for any questions or concerns as they may arise! At Tricounty Eye Associates, we want to be a part of your eye health journey and keep your vision in tip-top shape for as long as possible!