February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. At Eye Medical Clinic, we want all of our patients to See Every Moment. We want you to have the best possible vision and enjoy healthy eyes for a lifetime. So, we’re raising awareness about this sight-threatening condition.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a genetic eye disease associated with aging that causes central vision loss. It impacts more than 11 million seniors in the U.S. alone. It affects central vision and can have a negative impact on everyday activities, like driving, reading and recognizing faces.
A comprehensive eye exam with a board-certified ophthalmologist is the right place to start if you are concerned about this condition. Our own retina specialist, Dr. Tamer Hadi, is able to guide you through managing this sight-stealing condition.
How Can I Know if I am at Risk for Macular Degeneration?
As the name suggests, advancing age puts you more at risk. Other risk factors include a diet high in saturated fats, being obese, high blood pressure and smoking. Also, people with a family history of AMD are at higher risk, as are women and people of European descent.
Some additional lifestyle factors also increase your risk for AMD:
- Cigarette smoking
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Excessive sun exposure
- Diet deficient in fruits and vegetables
By identifying the early signs of macular degeneration, we can help prevent and treat this disease.
Types of Macular Degeneration
There are two types of AMD, “dry” and “wet.” The dry form is much more common. With dry AMD, vision loss progresses more slowly. If you’ve been diagnosed with dry AMD, it is critical to keep regular appointments with your ophthalmologist because dry AMD can develop into the more damaging form called wet AMD.
Wet AMD is less common but much more serious than the dry form. Wet AMD occurs when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels can leak blood or other fluids, causing macular scarring.
This is important to know: macular degeneration is irreversible. That means people who are at risk for age-related eye disorders need to be diligent about their eye care.
How is Macular Degeneration Treated?
Treatment for dry AMD begins with routine eye exams, especially after age 60, with the goal of early detection. If detected, your Eye Medical Clinic doctor may prescribe a mix of zinc and antioxidants to help in slowing the progression of the disease.
Wet AMD treatment can include a number of options including intravitreal injections that inhibit the growth of the abnormal blood cells that cause wet AMD.
See Every Moment with the Vision You Deserve
At Eye Medical Clinic, our shared goal is to be the best, most trusted eye care provider in San Jose and beyond. With experienced vision experts and a highly trained clinical team, we provide the latest diagnostic tests, treatments and procedures, customized to your needs, lifestyle and vision goals.
Schedule an appointment with your Eye Medical Clinic team to learn more about protecting your vision today and in the future.