Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Senior Eye Health Requires Macular Degeneration Awareness

Seniors should take the time to learn about AgeRelated Macular Degeneration (AMD) as the number of people affected by macular degeneration is continuing to climb, especially due to the aging baby boomer population. Preserving eye health in seniors has to be a priority as we know that vision loss often leads to a progressive loss of lifestyle, mental decline and overall functioning. Today, for most patients, with early detection, diagnosis and treatment, at a minimum we can prevent further vision loss from the disease.

Types of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
There are two types of AMD, a “Dry” form and a “Wet” form. It is estimated that 85-90% of people with AMD have the Dry form which results in a gradual progressive vision loss. Fortunately, only 10 percent of people with AMD have the Wet form which progresses much quicker and can cause catastrophic vision loss.

Symptoms of Age Related Macular Degeneration Vision Loss
Both Dry and Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration affects central or straight ahead vision and leaves peripheral vision intact. Dry AMD results in a blurring and general dimming of vision in a slow progressive manner. Wet AMD results from the leakage of fluid or formation of blood vessels under the Macula that results in distortion, “bubbling” or “bending” of central vision. If the blood vessels break and bleed, it is possible to have a scar form with a sudden, severe loss of central vision accompanied by a blind spot in the center of vision.

The  goal must be to provide seniors with regular eye exams and careful evaluation of the  retina-along with building awareness of these symptoms as with early diagnosis, treatment of Wet AMD with Lucentis® or Eylea® injections is often possible with excellent results in avoiding vision loss.

Preventing Vision Loss from Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Once you are over 50, it becomes increasingly important to have a thorough, comprehensive dilated eye exam every one to two years-and even more often if you have any family history of AMD or at the recommendation of your eye doctor. Patients can often reduce their risk of developing AMD by not smoking as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables, avoiding foods with Trans fats, exercising and controlling blood pressure and weight.

If you or someone you know has a question about Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), AMD symptoms and prevention of AMDplease feel free to call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.