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(303) 838-9165

AMD – Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Procedures

Age-Related Macular Degeneration is a progressive eye disease that affects your central vision. It is the leading cause of severe vision loss in Americans over the age of 50 years old.

AMD occurs when the macula – the small central portion of the retina – begins to deteriorate. The macula is responsible for central vision, allowing you to see fine details like reading books or recognizing the faces of your loved ones.

There are 2 types of AMD, of which you can potentially have one or both types. Roughly 90% of AMD cases are dry (atrophic), with the remaining 10% being wet (exudative).

 

  • Dry (Atrophic) AMD – Dry AMD occurs when the layer of cells beneath the retina begin to age and thin out. The most common sign of this type of AMD is yellow deposits (called drusen) in the macula. Over time the drusen grow in size and quantity, affecting your vision by causing it to appear increasingly distorted and dim.

    If left untreated, advanced stage dry AMD will result in the complete loss of central vision.
  • Wet (Exudative) AMD – This is the more severe form of AMD. Irregular and weakened blood vessels form underneath the retina, breaking into the macula and causing blood and other fluids to leak. This results in distorted vision and blind spots.

 

What Are The Risk Factors For Developing AMD?

The following factors can increase your risk of developing AMD:

  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Certain ethnicities
  • Prolonged exposure to bright sunlight

What Are The Symptoms of AMD?

Early Stage AMD Symptoms – During the initial stages of AMD there are no noticeable symptoms. Without detection (via an eye exam1) these initial stages of AMD progress unnoticed.

Intermediate Stage AMD Symptoms – This is the stage where the symptoms of AMD begin to show. They include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Distorted center of vision
  • Dark areas or complete white outs in center of vision
  • Straight lines appear wavy/distorted

 

Advanced Stage AMD Symptoms – Once AMD reaches the advanced stage, complete loss of central vision is the only symptom.

How is AMD Treated?

There is no cure for AMD. If there is any loss of central vision as a result of your AMD going undiagnosed, it cannot be restored.

Prevention and living a healthy life are the best ways to delay the onset of AMD for as long as possible. Try the tips below to reduce your risk factors for AMD:

 

    • Eating a well balanced, nutritious diet
    • Physical activity (exercise) several times a week
    • Cessation of smoking
    • Regulating blood pressure
    • Reducing your exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays

 

  • Regular eye exams to monitor your ocular health closely

 

 

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