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Are you over 65 years old, and have you noticed that your vision is beginning to fade? If so, you need to find out if you are experiencing age-related macular degeneration. AMD is a chronic condition that happens when the center part of the eye retina, the macula, deteriorates. This results in loss of central vision. 


Macular degeneration is a major cause of legal blindness and vision loss among people over 65. February is Age-related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, the ideal time to learn about the condition. 




Macular Degeneration Prognosis



By 2030, more than six million people will have age-related macular degeneration. When an individual develops AMD, the ability to see the fine details is lost. This means that it becomes difficult to read, see road signs, and even recognize faces. 


AMD is a serious condition that can hurt an individual’s quality of life. If not treated, AMD can worsen, going from blurred vision to total loss of central vision. 




Risk Factors for AMD



The exact cause of AMD is still unclear, but some risk factors can predispose one to the condition. You cannot change some of the risk factors, such as age, but there are those that you can change. 


Age, gender, family history, and race are some risk factors for AMD. Other risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking. Vitamin D deficiency can increase an individual’s risk of developing AMD.




Symptoms of AMD



AMD has several symptoms that vary depending on the severity of the condition. The symptoms include wavy lines, blurriness, and blind spots. Other symptoms are faces and straight lines appearing wavy and objects appearing further away or smaller. 


If you experience any symptoms, you need to visit an ophthalmologist. If you are diagnosed with the condition, your eye doctor can develop an effective management plan.




Treating AMD



AMD has no cure, but there are things that you can do to treat the condition or to prevent vision loss. There are several ways to treat degenerative diseases. Some treatments include using anti-angiogenic drugs and using photodynamic laser therapy. 


Patients receive eye injections with the drugs to halt the formation of blood vessels. Laser therapy helps destroy abnormal blood cells. Other treatment options include the use of vitamins and supplements. People with AMD can benefit from the use of visual aids such as magnifying and electronic glasses. 




Protecting Your Vision



It is vital to protect your vision by reducing your risk of developing AMD. A healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk. Avoid smoking, eat a healthy diet, and maintain healthy blood pressure. 


Maintaining a healthy weight will go a long way to protecting your vision. Exercise regularly and watch your cholesterol levels. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses every time you go out. This will help keep away harmful UV rays. 


Millions of people living with AMD have found ways to perform different activities effectively. Talk to a vision specialist about aids that will make your life easier. You can find the device that will work for you. 



February is Age-related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. For more on this, visit Advanced Eyecare Center PC in Urbandale, Iowa. You can call 515-303-4488 today to schedule an appointment.

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