Understanding Age-related Macular Degeneration: Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness among individuals over the age of 50. It affects the macula, the small central part of the retina responsible for clear and sharp vision needed for reading, driving, and other daily activities. AMD can progress gradually and often goes unnoticed in the early stages, making regular eye exams crucial in detecting and treating the condition. Dr. Dolan from 2020 Vision in Rochester Hills, MI, offers comprehensive eye exams and customized treatment plans to help preserve and protect the vision of those with AMD.
Symptoms of AMD
AMD typically affects both eyes, often at different rates. The early stages may be symptom-free or exhibit minor changes in vision quality that patients may mistake as a normal part of aging. As the condition progresses, symptoms may include:
• Blurred or distorted central vision that makes it difficult to recognize faces, read, or drive
• Dark areas or blind spots in the central visual field
• Changes in color perception
• Difficulty seeing in low light or at night
Treatments for AMD
AMD currently has no cure, but timely and proper treatment can slow its progression and preserve vision. The treatment options include:
• Anti-VEGF injections – a medication injected into the eye to block the growth of abnormal blood vessels that damage the macula
• Photodynamic therapy (PDT) _ uses a light-sensitive drug and a special type of laser to destroy blood vessels beneath the retina without causing damage
• Laser therapy – a technique to seal off leaking blood vessels or destroy abnormal ones.
Prevention of AMD
Although AMD may be a natural part of aging, certain lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of developing the condition or slow its progression. These include:
• Quitting smoking – smoking doubles the risk of developing AMD and other eye diseases.
• Eating a healthy diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts.
• Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
• Protecting the eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses and hats.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration is a severe condition affecting millions of people worldwide. It is essential to recognize its symptoms and schedule regular eye exams to stay ahead of its progression. Taking preventive measures such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet, and wearing protective eyewear can reduce the risk of developing AMD. If you experience the symptoms of AMD, contact Dr. Dolan at 2020 Vision in Rochester Hills, MI, at (248) 375-0040, to schedule an appointment and discuss the appropriate treatment options.
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