Age-Related Macular Degeneration – What You Need to Know

Dec 15, 2022 | Eye Diseases, Eye Exams

The eye doctors and team at Decatur Family Eye Care are committed to providing personalized eye health and vision care for people of all ages. 

Everyone should get an eye exam on a regular basis, either annually or once every two years, as there are many eye diseases without symptoms in the early stages. Eye exams can help detect a variety of problems, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Learn more about age-related macular degeneration, including symptoms, causes, and treatment, in this blog post. 

What Is age-related macular degeneration? 

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye disease that affects people as they get older. It is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50. AMD affects the macula, which is the part of the eye that is responsible for central vision and the ability to see fine detail. In people with AMD, the macula becomes damaged, which can cause a loss of central vision and make it difficult to see fine detail, read, and recognize faces. 

There are two main types of AMD: dry AMD and wet AMD. Dry AMD is the most common form, and it occurs when the cells in the macula break down and stop functioning properly. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels form under the macula, which can leak fluid and cause additional damage to the macula.

Symptoms of age-related macular degeneration

The symptoms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Common symptoms of AMD include:

  • Blurry or distorted central vision
  • Difficulty reading or seeing fine detail
  • Distorted or wavy lines
  • Dark or empty areas in the center of your vision
  • Difficulty recognizing faces

In some cases, people with AMD may not notice any symptoms until the condition has advanced. It is important to have regular eye exams so that AMD can be detected and treated early. Early treatment can slow the progression of the condition and help preserve vision.

Causes of age-related macular degeneration

The exact cause of age-related macular degeneration isn’t known; however, certain factors can increase your risk for developing this condition such as smoking cigarettes, being overweight or obese, having high levels of cholesterol in the blood or having a history of sun exposure without protection from sunglasses or sunscreen. Regular eye exams are essential for detecting any early signs or symptoms of AMD before they become serious issues. 

Conclusion

At Decatur Family Eye Care in Decatur AL, we understand how important it is to receive regular eye exams; they can help detect any early signs or symptoms related to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). 

If you have any questions about AMD such as its causes, symptoms or treatments please don’t hesitate to contact us—we’re here to help! Early detection and treatment are key when it comes to managing this condition so make sure you schedule regular appointments with our optometrists so we can closely monitor your eye health.