Monday, February 23, 2015

Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Anyone over the age of 50, and especially seniors, should take a moment to learn about risk factors for age related macular degeneration (AMD). Age related macular degeneration continues to be a leading cause of severe vision loss among Americans ages 65 and over. YOU can make a difference in preserving your vision by knowing your risk factors, being aware of your family history, and scheduling regular eye exam appointments. As with many age related eye problems, the key to preventing vision loss from age related macular degeneration is early detection, diagnosis and treatment as recommended by your eye doctor.

Top AMD Risks You Should Know
Ø  Being over the Age of 60
Ø  Having a Family History of AMD
Ø  Cigarette Smoking
Ø  Obesity
Ø  Hypertension

If you have any two of these risk factors, you should schedule an appointment for a complete eye exam and evaluation. We may recommend certain lifestyle choices and preventative measures to help you manage the risks and hopefully reduce your risk of vision loss.

Making Choice to Manage AMD Risk Factors
In addition to the top risks mentioned above there are some AMD risks that can be reduced by making certain lifestyle and health related choices whereas others simply cannot be changed. First, know your family history as any family history of age related macular degeneration (AMD) increases your risk. Second-quit smoking or better-don’t start. Avoid more than 15 g of alcohol consumption per day as alcohol consumption increase AMD risk, Eat green leafy vegetable as part of your regular diet. Obesity and a high fat diet also contribute to an increased risk. If you are at high risk for developing late stage AMD, taking a dietary supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, has been shown to lower the risk of AMD advancing to advanced stages by 25 percent.

Be Aware of the Symptoms of Wet AMD
Wet AMD is the type of AMD most likely to cause noticeable symptoms as well as cause the quickest and most catastrophic vision loss. Know the symptoms of Wet AMD. Symptoms of Wet AMD can include sudden, noticeable loss or distortion of vision, such as seeing “wavy” lines, “distortion of, or black spots on peoples face”, “distortion or bending of straight lines and objects”. If you experience any of these symptoms, please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center right away and explain your symptoms and request an immediate appointment. Current treatments for Wet AMD with Vascular Endothelial Growth (VEGF) Inhibitor injections of Lucentis® and Eylea® provide an excellent chance of stopping vision loss and may actually restore some vision when macular degeneration develops. The earlier and the quicker we diagnose Wet AMD, the better the chance of successful treatment.

If you or someone you know has a question about AMD or is concerned about age related macular degeneration risk factors and needs an eye exam, please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso,