Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a chronic eye disease associated with aging that gradually destroys central vision. Itʼs one of the leading causes of legal blindness and vision impairment in older Americans. AMD affects central vision, but not peripheral vision – therefore, it doesn’t cause total blindness. The progression of AMD can be slow or rapid, but the deterioration of central vision generally occurs over a period of a few years. Pain is not associated with AMD, but if you experience any of the following conditions make an eye appointment right away:
- Straight lines appear wavy
- Difficulty seeing at a distance
- Decreased ability to distinguish colors
- Inability to see details, such as faces or words in a book
- Dark or empty spots block the center of your vision
Although the exact cause of Macular Degeneration is unknown, several studies have shown the following are more at risk:
- People age 50 and older
- People with hypertension
- People who smoke
- People with a family history of AMD
There are two types of AMD: “dry” and “wet”: The “dry” form of Macular Degeneration occurs in approximately 90 percent of those with AMD. Studies have found that high levels of zinc and antioxidants play a key role in slowing the few specific forms of “wet” macular degeneration.
Early detection and treatment are the best defense against losing your vision.