February is Age Related Macular Degeneration Month (AMD)February 26th, 2019
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older Americans, but new treatments have dramatically changed the course of this disease over the last 10 years, making AMD more manageable than ever before.
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe, irreversible vision loss in people over age 60. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates.
What are some risk factors for Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
- Smoking. Smoking increases a person’s chances of developing AMD
- Family History of AMD
- Prolonged Sun Exposure
Is there a cure for Macular Degeneration?
Currently, there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), however, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of getting the disease and experiencing AMD-related vision loss.
Here are a few simple steps for maintaining healthy eyes:
Family Eye Health History:
Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with AMD.
Many studies have determined that smoking significantly increases the risk of AMD, and some research has shown that the risk is at least double that of non-smokers.
Eat right to protect your sight. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too. Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.
Have Regular Eye Exams:
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a dilated eye exam at least every two to three years if you’re between 45 and 60 and every year after the age of 60.
Regular eye exams can help your eye doctor detect AMD and monitor it so that you can receive proper AMD treatment, if appropriate, beyond these preventive measures.