Valentine’s Day celebrations are something the shortest month of the year, February is most renowned for. But an imperative health-related issue is also associated with the month of February which we know as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
More than 1.65 million of the American population suffers from AMD. For those of you who are unaware, this disease is linked with the loss of central sight leading to visual impairment, typically in both the eyes. Many people who suffer from this disease experience a loss of vision by the age of 65 or above.
However, with the February being the month of awareness, we will list down the risk factors attached with AMDs, urging you to get your eyes checked at least once a year.
Before we talk about the risks or the symptoms, it is imperative to understand that an AMD is divided into two categories: wet and dry. Regardless of the type, the disease deals with macula. Macula is a tiny, round area that carries the cells that assist in visual precision which is located in the middle of the retina.
With that being said, let’s move onto the signs that might indicate you have one of the two AMD.
· Dry AMD is more common than wet AMD.
· In this type of a disease, the Macula declines.
· This type of disease induces a blurry sight or dark spotting
· This is less severe and if not treated, can easily move to wet AMD.
· Wet AMD is a less common type of AMD as compared to the dry AMD and is more severe of a problem in nature.
· There is an irregular growth of blood vessels under the retina in this case which results in fluid and blood leakages into the macula
· Visual clarity in this disease deteriorates. (Objects appear lopsided)
· The disease’s symptoms are quick to appear and the disease spreads hastily.
In a recent study by the National Eye Institute, it was speculated that high amounts of vitamin and mineral supplements such as those of zinc, vitamins E, C and beta-carotene might offer a reduction in the progress of AMD but it is definitely not a remedy. In fact, if anything, consuming really high doses of supplements is also an unnatural consumption and comes with risks as well.
So according to doctors and nutritionists, individuals who do believe they are prone to developing AMD (perhaps due to symptoms or heritage), the best way to minimize the risks is by consuming a naturally rich diet including healthy portions of fish, fruits and vegetables.
What are the risk factors of AMD?
The following have a greater risk factor of developing AMD:
· Those over and above the age brackets of 50
· History of smoking
· AMD runs in genetics
· High blood pressure or cholesterol levels
· A vitamin and mineral deficiency
This month, our focus is on reducing the risks of visual impairment amongst individuals caused by AMD. And for that matter, it is important to get your dilated eye exams frequently, quit smoking, wear UV-blocking sunglasses and wearing safety eye protection in extreme conditions. Request an appointment at The Eye Experts here.