February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration awareness month. Do you know what age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is?
AMD is the leading cause of blindness for adults 65 and older in the United States. There is confusion or lack of knowledge around AMD, especially the fact that it causes blindness.
The month of February is dedicated to educating the public about AMD. Keep reading to become more aware of age-related macular degeneration!
What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration is also known as macular degeneration. People develop AMD when a part of the retina, called the macula, becomes damaged.
This is because of a breakdown or degeneration of the macula. The macula is the small part of the retina in the back of the eye that lets you see tiny details and perform activities. Examples of activities include reading and driving.
What are the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration? There are many symptoms associated with age-related macular degeneration. They include blurry vision, seeing dark spots, and having central vision that doesn’t work right.
It impacts your ability to see different distances and things close up and specific activities. You might never be able to read, thread a needle, or drive again if you have AMD.
AMD does not affect your peripheral vision, only your central vision. For example, you could see someone sitting next to you, but not the person sitting across from you at a table.
Over a million Americans have age-related macular degeneration. AMD is the main cause of blindness for adults 65 and up.
For adults with more serious cases of AMD, they can still see some things and are able to live their life. For most patients, AMD effects can be small.
Types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
There are two types of age-related macular degeneration.
Dry AMD is the most common type of AMD. Over half of the patients diagnosed with AMD have dry AMD.
Dry AMD causes your macula to deteriorate. This results in blurry central vision and/or blind spots and can turn into wet AMD.
Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels develop under the retina and put blood and fluid in the macula. Your vision becomes distorted, like lines looking wavy. Once symptoms occur, it develops quickly, causing you to lose your vision faster than dry AMD.
Getting regular eye exams is the best way to prevent and diagnose AMD early on. This will help you prevent it from progressing.
If AMD is not detected early on, it is more challenging to save remaining vision. Vision loss from AMD is irreversible.
It’s important to diagnose and treat AMD early to prevent you from going blind.
Though there is no cure for AMD, there are treatments that make AMD easier to live with. These treatments make it possible for patients with AMD to save remaining vision.
Ready for an eye exam? Schedule an appointment with our doctors at EyeHealth Northwest in Hillsboro, OR! Seeing an eye doctor for an eye exam is your best defense against any eye condition, including AMD!