What You Need to Know About Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is the leading cause of permanent central vision loss for adults over the age of 65. But what exactly is AMD, and how can you take steps to prevent it? AMD is developed naturally in the aging process and affects the macula, a tiny spot on the retina of your eyes. The macula is the most sensitive spot of your retina and contains millions of light-sensing cells. The macula is responsible for providing clear, sharp vision at the center of your field of vision.

Over time, if deposits of “drusen” form under the macula, it can thin out and stop working correctly. This is called “dry AMD” and is the most common form of the disease. “Wet AMD” is another form of the eye disease and is formed when blood vessels grow abnormally beneath the retina and leaking blood. Wet AMD makes up only 10 percent of all AMD cases. AMD does not usually lead to total blindness and can start in one eye, before progressing to another.

There is, unfortunately, no treatment for AMD (in the early stages) and vision loss cannot be restored. But with certain vitamins and minerals the process of AMD can be slowed in the intermediate or late stages. And the risk of AMD can be reduced with several lifestyle choices. If you avoid smoking, maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, exercise, and eat a diet with plenty of leafy greens and fish, you can reduce your risk for AMD.

Only an eye exam can detect AMD. Contact Pycraft Family Eye Care, your Wooster family eye care professionals, if you believe you are at risk for AMD.