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The Low Down On Eye Health: AMD

POSTED ON December 8, 2010

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This is the one eye health topic I knew a good deal about before starting at Dr. Tavel Family Eye Care.  My grandfather has age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and as a family we have coped and helped my grandfather deal with this sight-robbing disease.  AMD is quite simply the degeneration of the macula which is a part of the retina that helps us see and focus, our central vision. Allaboutvision.com reports that AMD is the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age ...

This is the one eye health topic I knew a good deal about before starting at Dr. Tavel Family Eye Care.  My grandfather has age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and as a family we have coped and helped my grandfather deal with this sight-robbing disease.  AMD is quite simply the degeneration of the macula which is a part of the retina that helps us see and focus, our central vision.

Allaboutvision.com reports that AMD is the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age of 65.  It is brought on by age (usually) and has two different forms: wet and dry.  Wet macular degeneration is the most severe form and occurs when blood vessels grow under the macula releasing blood and fluid.  This extra blood and fluid causes the macula to move and impair vision according to the National Eye Institute (NEI).  Dry AMD occurs in stages as light-sensitive cells break down in the macula and gradually blur and damage vision.  The NEI says the most common symptom of dry AMD is slightly blurry vision.

These pictures from NEI show what those with AMD vs. someone with normal vision:

Normal Vision

AMD Vision

Unfortunately there is no one cure for AMD.  Even though it doesn’t directly cause physical pain, it does cause much pain and stress for affected individuals who can no longer see the faces of their loved ones, read the newspaper, or enjoy a movie.  Treatments vary with level of AMD (wet or dry) and age.  A dilated eye examination is the best way to diagnose AMD as an eye care doctor, like Dr. Tavel and his board certified associates will dilate your pupils to see best in the back of the eye.  Other tests will be performed in a comprehensive eye examination to determine if AMD is present.

Those at higher risk for AMD are older adults as age is the largest risk factor.  Other risk factors: race, obesity, gender, and family history.  White adults are more likely to lose sight from AMD, overweight individuals, women, and those with an immediate family member with AMD are at the most risk.  Visit your Indiana eye doctor today to discuss your risk for AMD…as now you have the eye health low down!

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