Getting older has some benefits, problematic health issues, and it’s inevitable. One of those problematic health issues is age-related macular degeneration, and 10 million Americans suffer from its consequences. It is the leading cause of vision loss, and more adults have it than have glaucoma and cataracts combined. If you are over 60 years old, pay attention to these 7 signs you have age-related macular degeneration.
Some Facts About Macular Degeneration
Let’s start with some facts about macular degeneration which affects our central vision and why it develops. Our macula is the central part of the retina which sends images to our brain for translation. Dry macular degeneration is caused by tiny fatty deposits on our retina known as drusen. These deposits cause our retina to break down leading to macular degeneration. 90% of those with this eye disease have the dry kind.
The wet type is far less common, but more severe. Abnormal blood vessels develop which leak fluid and it can quickly lead to total central vision loss.
There is no cure for AMD, but treatments can slow the progression and make symptoms less severe.
7 Signs You Have Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The early stages of this eye disease have no noticeable symptoms, but Dr. Matthew Hecht can diagnose it during a dilated exam.
Watch for these signs of age-related macular degeneration:
- Straight lines look wavy and distorted
- Blurred vision and trouble seeing color
- Loss of center vision and details causing trouble driving, reading, recognizing faces, and doing close work
- Progressive need for more light to complete daily tasks
- Trouble judging distances
- Trouble climbing up and down stairs
- Dark blurry areas or whiteouts in the center of your vision
Make Healthy Choices
Although there is no cure for AMD, there are some proactive choices you can make to slow down the progression or lower your risk of developing it. Regular exercise can help, wear sunglasses whenever you are out in the sun, stop smoking, and eat dark leafy vegetables and fish. Following the Mediterranean diet can also help.
Include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Lutein, Zinc, copper, and Zeaxanthin in your daily supplement regimen.