Macular Degeneration is often an age-related eye condition that affects the macula; a part of the retina located at the back of your eye. In medical terms, it is known as AMD and with today’s medical knowledge it is easily treatable.
Breaking It Down
AMD is virtually painless and it doesn’t lead to a total loss of sight, it just affects the eye’s central vision. The problem can be recognized when a sufferer directly looks at an object. Reading, looking at photographs, and watching television are all good examples of this. Vision will become somewhat distorted or blurry; gradually this could lead to a blank patch in someone’s vision.
There is no known cause of AMD, some scientist does believe the following can increase your chances of developing it:
- The age of a patient as AMD will normally be developed with age. Most cases are with people that are 65 or over,
- The gender of a patient; women out-live men meaning AMD is more popular,
- Research has shown that families with a certain gene type tend to have more than one member who suffered from AMD.
- Smoking and AMD have been found to been linked. If you smoke, you are increasing the risk of developing this condition.
- Some research suggests that being exposed to high levels of sunlight increases your chances of developing AMD.
You Are What You Eat
Some research has shown that the better your diet the less chance you have of developing AMT. It is believed that vitamins A, C, E, and Zinc have helped to slow down the progression of AMD in sufferers.
There are some factors that cannot be changed, but if you watch what you eat, protect your eyes from direct sunlight, and don’t smoke, the progression of AMD can be prevented.
Symptoms can vary from person to person but the tell-tale signs are when individuals can no longer see detail. Additionally, a small blurred area in the center of your vision may also be acknowledged. To a sufferer, straight lines may appear to be distorted, and you may develop sensitivity when you look at the light. Commonly these changes only occur in one eye.
You should contact a doctor or optician if you notice the following things:
- You struggle to read small print even with glasses on,
- Straight lines no longer appear vertical,
- Vision is not as clear as it used to be.
When notifying an optician they can measure the changes in your vision and be able to examine the affected eye. If anything is detected that causes concern you can be transferred to hospital for further tests. I was personally referred to a consultant who specializes in macular degeneration in Cornwall shortly after my optician flagged up concerns regarding my macula.