Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in adults aged 50 and older. Given its complexity, it’s essential to understand the facts about the condition rather than believing the common myths often shared online or by friends and family.
Knowing more about AMD can help you take steps to prevent or delay its progression, so here are statements you can overlook to maintain your vision for years to come.
Myth #1: AMD Is a Disease That Only Affects Older Adults
AMD is an eye condition caused by deterioration in part of the retina, called the macula. This area at the back of your eye helps you see things with sharp detail and color when looking straight ahead—for example, when reading or driving a car—but it does not affect peripheral vision like looking out into the distance around you.
While researchers are still working to understand what causes this macular degeneration, it’s likely due to age combined with other risk factors such as smoking, obesity and genetics.
Who is at risk of AMD? People over age 50 have an increased risk of developing early stages of this condition; however, younger people may also be diagnosed if they have certain genetic mutations associated with these conditions.
Myth #2: There Is No Cure for AMD
Though there currently isn’t a cure for late-stage AMD, treatments are available depending on which type has been diagnosed. Dry AMD has no treatment yet, but recent studies indicate that some dietary changes may slow its progression.
Lifestyle changes that can help include eating leafy green vegetables rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil might reduce inflammation throughout your body, including within your eyes. Similarly, maintaining good overall health by exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, quitting smoking and protecting yourself from UV light will help lower ocular inflammation.
Myth #3 All Vision Loss From MDM Is Irreversible
Treatments such as intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor medications and photodynamic therapy can help improve vision in some cases. Other treatments such as laser therapy, vitrectomy, cataract surgery and low vision aids can also help reduce AMD’s effects. Early diagnosis and management are key to preserving your sight longer with AMD.
Time to Get Checked
If you are over 50 or have any other risk factors for developing AMD, you should get an eye exam with your doctor. If you live in the Sierra Madre area, Lumen Optometric can provide comprehensive eye exams to help detect AMD early and offer recommendations for treatment and management. We also provide other ophthalmologic services and products, such as contact lenses and orthokeratology. Call us today at (626) 921-0199 to schedule an appointment.