5 Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration
If you suffer from AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration), you may know a lot about what you’re going through. However, you can never know too much, which is why we at personalEYES want to give you a few more facts about your condition.
1- Macular Degeneration is a major cause of blindness
Age-related macular degeneration is a painless eye condition, but it is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in Australia. One in seven people over the age of 50 are affected by the disease. Many people get MD as they age, which is when we refer to it as Age-Related Macular Degeneration. This is a more common form of the disease.
2 – Central vision is affected by MD
Macular Degeneration is a group of degenerative diseases of the retina that cause progressive, painless loss of central vision. This means that things like your ability to see fine detail, drive, read and recognise faces is affected. Your vision will continuously blur and colours will appear less vibrant. This loss of sight can happen gradually over time, or it can be rapid. It doesn’t affect your peripheral vision, so it doesn’t cause complete blindness, but it can often come close.
3—Symptoms of AMD
Aside from potential factors like age, there are a few signs and symptoms that could mean that you are affected by age-related macular degeneration, such as:
- Difficulty reading or doing any activity that requires fine vision
- Dark patches or empty spaces in the centre of your vision
- Difficulty distinguishing faces
- Colours appear less bright
- Distortion of vision—straight lines appear wavy or bent
If you have a family history of macular degeneration and start noticing any of these symptoms, book an appointment with an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
4—Who poses a greater risk for AMD?
It is not clear why, but women are more affected by AMD than men are.
It is most common for people over 50, and at least 1 in every 10 people over 65 have some degree of AMD.
About 1 in 7 Australians over the age of 50 suffer from AMD.
You can reduce your risk for AMD
There are ways to reduce your risk for Age-related Macular Degeneration, even though your risk is most closely related to your age and your family history. However, if you are concerned, or you do have a family history of AMD, you can reduce your risk or prevent it from getting worse by:
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet
- Consuming alcohol in moderation, or not at all
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Wearing UV absorbing glasses when outside for long periods of time