Love encompasses our lives every day. We care about the health and safety of our loved ones, but often times forget to care for ourselves just as much. February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness month. At Optikk 30A, we want you to become more aware of the dangers of this common disease and how to take effective preventative measures.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of 50. This disease causes damage to the macula (central part of the retina) which can result in blurred vision, distorted vision and loss of the central vision needed to perform everyday tasks.
There are two types of AMD which can be summarized as either “dry” or “wet”. “Dry” AMD (the most common) refers to the deterioration of the central portion of the retina causing a gradual loss in vision. In the “wet” form of AMD, fluid leaks from beneath the retina causing a more rapid and severe loss of central vision. “Wet” AMD is monitored closely by a retina specialist and the treatment includes injections into the eye. Regardless of the type of AMD a patient may be diagnosed with, the severity of the condition varies from patient to patient.
Leading risk factors for the development of AMD:
Age - AMD will most commonly occur after the age of 60.
Family History - People with a family history of AMD are at higher risk of developing the disease. Be sure to tell your optometrist if you have any family history of AMD.
Poor Diet and Smoking - The retina has a high rate of oxygen consumption, so anything that reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the retina increases the risk of AMD. Smoking, inactivity and poor diet causes oxidative damage to the eye.
Sun Exposure - Repeated exposure of the eye to ultraviolet (UV) light damages the retina and is cumulative over time.
- Exercise regularly! Improving blood flow nourishes and protects those retinal cells.
Do not smoke! Smoking increases your risk of AMD significantly.
Eat the rainbow! Studies have proven the macular protective benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin and other antioxidants which can be found in dark leafy greens, vegetables and fatty fish.
Control your blood pressure and cholesterol and limit your consumption of refined carbohydrates and processed foods.
Ask your eye doctor about a multivitamin or an AREDS II supplement
Wear UV protective eyewear at all times!
The first step in loving your eyes is to schedule an eye exam with your optometrist. Visit our optical boutique in Redfish Village along scenic highway 30A in Santa Rosa Beach for a comprehensive eye exam. Dr. Korrie Lalim and her staff are committed to excellence in patient care.
Need more eye-loving tips? Contact us today!
Resources: National Eye Institute: https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts