Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that is common among people aged 50 and older. But what is AMD, and what can you do about it?
What Is Macular Degeneration?
The macula is the light-sensing part of the human eye, and a healthy macula provides clear vision. When macular degeneration occurs, the center of the field of vision may appear dark, blurry or distorted. By itself, macular degeneration does not lead to blindness, but it can interfere with daily activities that require central vision. This includes reading, driving and facial recognition.
Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
While AMD doesn’t exhibit symptoms until later in a person’s life, there are early signs that indicate that you should consult with eye doctors as soon as possible. Such early signs include slight blurring of the central vision, both close and far. In some patients, center vision may develop a shadow or a fuzzy area that becomes more noticeable over the years. There is also a condition called wet macular degeneration, where straight lines may appear wavy.
Symptoms that are specific to AMD, which manifest during a person’s later years, include pronounced blurring or distortion in the center of their visual field. Slight contrasts in textures and hues may not be as noticeable, and may affect depth perception. Changes in light levels, such as when you enter a well-lit room to a darker one, can be uncomfortable.
Patients who notice early signs of AMD should see an eye doctor. Since AMD cannot be determined at an early age, one may need to take comprehensive eye exams at least once a year and monitor your vision progress before a treatment plan can be made.
An eye doctor may recommend changes to a patient’s lifestyle and habits, such as quitting smoking and incorporating more green and leafy vegetables into the diet. Taking food supplements that contain vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper until the patient is ready for AMD treatment may be recommended.
Insight Vision Center Optometry provides vision therapy, orthokeratology and other eye care services to communities in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, CA. Give us a call at (714) 486-3315, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.