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February Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

February 3, 2023

The month of February is dedicated to raising awareness of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects 8.7% of the global population. In reality, AMD accounts for 5% of all cases of global blindness. If you are over 55 and notice that your vision is fading, you may be experiencing the onset of age-related macular degeneration.

Understanding why AMD happens, what risk factors exist, and which symptoms to look for might help you seek treatment before your vision is permanently impaired.

What is age-related macular degeneration?

The macula is the area of your retina where your central and color vision reside, and AMD is its disorder. Age Related Macular Degeneration is a complicated condition in which degenerative proteins and lipids develop beneath the retina. These deposits are seen in early macular degeneration, and when the condition advances, the retina’s structural support system deteriorates, allowing abnormal blood vessels to form or leak fluid, further disrupting the retinal cells.

What are the types of age-related macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration is classified into two types:

  • Dry or nonexudative: This is a less dangerous disorder in which any loss of vision occurs slowly over a long period of time, ranging from several months to years. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for dry AMD, and up to 15% of dry AMD patients progress to wet AMD.
  • Wet or exudative: This is a less common but far more severe condition. Wet AMD occurs when new, abnormal blood vessels form beneath the retina. Yet, if identified early, it is treatable.

What are the risk factors for age-related macular degeneration?

  • Age: The risk of AMD grows with age, as the condition most commonly affects people aged 55 and up.
  • Genetics: AMD runs in the family
  • Body weight: Are overweight
  • Diet: Eat a diet high in saturated fat
  • Smoking: Increases your risk of development
  • Certain diseases: such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and cardiovascular disease

What are the signs and symptoms of age-related macular degeneration?

A massive 78% of people with AMD have already permanently lost their vision. In fact, 20/200 vision or poorer is present in nearly half of patients who are just being diagnosed with an AMD. For context, 20/20 vision is considered to be extremely good vision, 20/40 is considered to be driving standard vision, and 20/200 is considered to be blindness. As AMD causes no pain, it may be challenging to detect any problems before vision loss occurs.

There are several symptoms of the disorder that are present in both wet and dry AMD. You should be alert to the following eyesight changes:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Words disappear when you read
  • Straight lines appear curved
  • Objects seem to alter shape or size
  • Dark smudges or gaps in your central vision
  • Faded colors and poor color perception
  • It takes longer for your eyesight to adjust in low light

What is the importance of early detection of age-related macular degeneration?

Regular eye exams are essential, no matter your age or condition. A thorough eye exam can find problems that you might not even be aware of. It’s crucial that you make an appointment with your eye doctor immediately because the early stages of AMD present with few to no symptoms. Your eyesight could be saved if AMD is discovered early.

What is the treatment for age-related macular degeneration?

Many new and exciting treatment methods can stop future vision loss and aid in your recovery, sometimes even restoring your vision to 20/20, depending on the kind and severity of your macular degeneration. With your eye doctor, discuss your options.

Keep an eye on your vision with Ojas – Eye Hospital

Contact the Best Eye Specialists At Ojas – Eye Hospital in Mumbai right away to get an eye exam if you detect any changes in your vision. Regular visits to Ojas – Eye Hospital for eye exams are essential for detecting AMD early because it can be detected with a simple eye test before you even notice any symptoms.

Ojas Eye Hospital A Center of Excellence for Contoura Vision, Femto Bladefree Lasik in Mumbai, India.