The month of February has been designated Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Month. It is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans age 50 and older and affects more than 10 million people. This eye disease can have a devastating affect on vision and quality of life since it impacts the central vision. While you won't go blind, the ability to see faces, drive, and read will be hampered.
What are the risk factors?
- Age: more likely to occur after age 60
- Smoking: doubles your risk of getting AMD
- Race: more common among Caucasians
- Genetics/Family History: having a positive family history increases your risk
What can I do?
Early detection is important so get regular comprehensive eye exams which includes dilation. Know your family history and consider smoking cessation. You can also make lifestyle changes which may lower your risk like exercising and eating a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fish.
Being aware of your risk factors is an important first step. Schedule your next eye exam with us to assess the health of your eyes and learn more about your risk factors for AMD.