Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age of 50. It is a loss of central vision that occurs when there are changes to the macula. The macula is a small portion of the retina that is located on the inside back layer of the eye. There are two forms of AMD known as “dry” and “wet.” Most people suffering form AMD have the dry form.
Macular Degeneration can go unnoticed in its early stages. Below are a few early symptoms of which to be aware:
- Gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
- Shape of objects may appear distorted
- Straight lines may look wavy or curved
- Color vision can become unclear
- Dark or empty area in the center of vision
An optometrist can perform a variety of tests to determine if a person is suffering from macular degeneration or other eye diseases; therefore, it is important to contact an eye doctor if you feel you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
There is no known treatment for dry AMD. This is because the tissue of the macula gradually becomes thin and stops functioning properly. Any vision that is lost by dry AMD cannot be restored
The less common “wet” form of AMD can be treated if diagnosed early. It is caused by fluids leaking from newly formed blood vessels under the macula. This leakage blurs central vision, which can occur rapidly. If central vision is lost, it cannot be restored; however, there are options to optimize existing vision. Wet AMD may respond to laser procedures and medication injections.
Researchers have found that nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc reduce the risk of certain eye diseases, including macular degeneration. Some researchers also believe that by making dietary changes and taking nutrition supplements can slow vision loss.
Overall, Age-Related Macular Degeneration is not something to be taking lightly. If you believe you are experiencing any symptoms of AMD, it is important to seek care. Scheduling a routine eye exam is a great way to stay ahead of the development of any harmful eye diseases. Eye Associates and the SurgiCenter of Vineland provide primary eye care and routine medical eye exams, as well as a variety of other services. Visit our website or call (856) 691– 8188 to schedule your appointment today.