Age-Related Macular Degeneration – Facts You Should Know

Aging causes many changes in the body, including the eyes. Age-related macular degeneration is a common condition that occurs in individuals over the age of 50 that can gradually impact the ability to see. At Vision Associates in Toledo, OH, we offer the latest treatments for age-related macular degeneration to help preserve vision throughout life.

Two Forms of Macular Degeneration

AMD occurs in two different forms, the “dry” form and the “wet” form. In the dry form, proteins called “drusa” collect on the macula of the eyes, a structure on the retina that is important for normal vision. Over time, these protein deposits begin to cause blurring of vision, difficulty reading text and reduced vision in the central field. In the wet form of the disease, abnormal blood vessels develop on the macula, which can leak blood and fluid causing damage to the macula. In both forms, vision can become progressively worse.

A Number of Factors Can Increase Your Risk For AMD

Age is a contributing factor in the development of AMD. Heredity can also increase your risk for this eye disease. Caucasians are at higher risk for AMD. Individuals who are obese, who have high blood pressure and high cholesterol are at greater risk. Smoking also can contribute to AMD.

Early in the Disease, You May Not Notice Any Symptoms

In the early stages of age-related macular degeneration, you may not notice any changes in vision. However, as time passes, reading and other activities may become more difficult. You may develop loss of vision in the central field. There could be blank patches in your field of vision. Your eye doctor will test for AMD during your comprehensive eye exam. That’s why regular eye exams are so important for individuals over the age of 60.

Treatment Depends on the Type of AMD

The recommended treatments for age-related macular degeneration depend on the form of the disease. There is no standard treatment for the dry form of the disease. However, treatment with supplements, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, vitamin E and vitamin C, can help to slow the progress of the disease. The wet form of AMD requires close monitoring of your eyes by an eye specialist to prevent leakage of blood vessels that can damage your vision. A number of medications are used for this purpose.

Make Vision Associates Your Eye Specialist For Comprehensive Eye Exams

The eye specialists at Vision Associates are committed to providing the highest quality care for our patients in Toledo, OH and surrounding communities. We offer a broad range of eye care services, including vision testing, pediatric eye exam, exams for contacts, glaucoma test, cataract surgery and treatment of eye diseases. Call Vision Associates today at 419-578-2020 for an appointment to have your eyes examined and to learn about caring for your eyes as you age.