Did you know that the leading cause of vision loss in the United States is age-related macular degeneration? By the year 2050, the number of cases of AMD is expected to be more than 5.44 million, per the National Eye Institute. Now is a great time to learn about AMD if you have someone living with the disease or you want to be proactive future eye health. You can help make the transition easier for your loved one and yourself by learning more about the symptoms and causes, along with the best ways to cope with the changes that come from the diagnosis.
AMD is the deterioration of the small area in the retina of the eye, called the macula, per the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This area is the tissue at the back of the eye that is light-sensitive. When there is breakdown of the macula, seeing details can be difficult since this area controls your central vision. Identifying street signs and reading small print becomes difficult for someone who develops AMD.
The best way to identify AMD is by visiting your optometrist. This disease is common in elderly adults because of the process of naturally aging. This disease is most common in adults over the age of 60, but there are some younger adults that are affected by it. There are some factors other than aging that can increase the chances of developing this disease. One of the controllable factors the smoking, since it doubles your chances of developing AMD. Uncontrollable factors include family genetics and race. Caucasians developed the disease more regularly than African-Americans. If you have a family history of the disease, you also have a greater chance of developing it. Since you cannot control genetics, it is imperative to visit the doctor regularly as an older adult to undergo testing for AMD and for routine checkups.
Hopefully, by identifying the causes and receiving regular checkups, you and your loved one can overcome AMD and enjoy seeing the world around you.