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Among older adults, age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is common. In fact, it is the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. among the elderly and as many as 6.5 percent of all people over the age of 40 have some degree of the condition. L.P. Britt, PA, treats patients in Tupelo, MS for AMD and other vision conditions.
Macular degeneration refers to a deterioration in the health of the macula, which is the central part of the retina. This region is responsible for the sharp, clear images in the center of your vision. The cause of AMD is not entirely understood, but there are two types that are treated a bit differently.
Patients with dry AMD may have no symptoms at all. As the disease progresses, cloudiness, dark spots, and shadows in your central vision start to appear. Long-term dry AMD or wet AMD may cause complete loss of central vision. AMD does not typically cause complete blindness, but it can severely affect your ability to perform normal tasks.
There are risk factors for AMD, but it is possible for anyone to get it. Genetics, diet, aging, and smoking have all been implicated in the development of this disorder. It is possible that high blood pressure may also be associated with an increase in AMD risk, as well as light-colored eyes and certain drugs.
There is no way to completely prevent AMD, but diet and exercise may play an important role. Certain supplements can be helpful, but simply eating a diet high in vegetables and fruits may provide the same types of nutrients. Inactivity is associated with an increased risk of AMD, so exercising regularly may help prevent the disorder.
The only treatment that is currently in use for dry AMD is dietary supplementation. However, regular monitoring by our optometrist can help you keep track of your AMD in case it does progress and further treatment is needed. Wet AMD is treated using drugs and laser therapy. Treatment starts with a thorough exam and diagnosis, followed by a discussion of your options and our recommendations.
Screening for macular degeneration is an important part of preventative eye care for older adults. If you have not been screened recently, call us today for an appointment. Our optometrist here at L.P. Britt, PA in Tupelo, MS also treats patients who have already been diagnosed. To reach us, call (662) 844-3436 today!