About Age Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) continues to be the leading cause of visual impairment in the United States for people over age 65, affecting some 15 million people and remaining a leading cause of blindness in our senior population. That said, seniors and others at risk for AMD should be aware and relieved that we have made significant advances in drug therapy, such as Lucentis® and Eylea® injections, that have provided treatment options that can slow the progression of the disease and even restore some of the vision that was thought to be lost for many patients. Therefore, in most cases, AMD is not an automatic path to blindness or even vision loss among seniors if you are aware of risk factors and proactive in getting regular eye exams. Knowing more about age related macular degeneration and how to prevent vision loss from AMD is important in helping patents-particularly those over 50, and especially seniors, maintain their eye health and vision.
What is the Macula?
The macula is the area of the retina responsible for providing central vision. Central vision is the sharpest or clearest area of your vision and is required for activities such as seeing fine detail of faces, reading and recognizing colors. The macula provides you with the precise vision required for driving a car and is responsible for central or “straight ahead” vision.
Causes of Macular Degeneration
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is actually a degenerative condition of the macula that is caused by hardening and narrowing of the small arteries supplying oxygen and nutrients to the retina that deprives the macula of oxygen and nutrition. Depending on the type of macular degeneration you experience, this can result in a slow progressive “dimming” of your vision or significant “distortion” followed by a profound loss of central vision. However, macular degeneration DOES NOT cause total blindness. The effects of macular degeneration are limited to the central retina and thus it only affects central vision, leaving your peripheral vision unchanged.
While there is no cure for macular degeneration, the key to helping seniors and those over 50 maintain their eye health and vision is early detection, diagnosis and treatment of AMD through regular eye exams. With early diagnosis it is possible to have a number of treatment options available to help preserve your vision.
If you, a family member, or friend has not had a recent eye exam, or if you are over 50, and especially if you have a family member who has macular degeneration, you may be at greater risk for macular degeneration. Please schedule an appointment by calling D'Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937.