Are You at Risk of Developing Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an eye disease that usually affects individuals over 50. It causes reduced central vision or blurriness and occurs due to macula thinning. The macula is the area of the retina that enables clear vision in the direct or central line of sight. Read the following to know if you are at risk. 


Developing Macular Degeneration 

Macular degeneration often develops in one eye before affecting both eyes. In some cases, it can develop simultaneously in both eyes. Over time, the eyesight worsens, affecting the patient's ability to perform daily tasks like driving and reading. 

Some people experience severe vision loss, while the loss is mild for others. Patients do not lose all their sight, just the central part, with the peripheral vision retained. Early diagnosis and management measures can help delay the condition's vision loss. 


Symptoms of Macular Degeneration 

Symptoms of AMD often develop gradually and with no pain. The early symptoms may affect one or both eyes. They include vision distortions, reduced central vision, increased blurriness, and the need for brighter lighting. 

Others include difficulty adapting to low lighting, reduced color intensity or brightness, difficulty recognizing faces, and a blind spot in the field of vision. Most people do not notice vision changes if the problem affects just one eye. The good eye tends to compensate for the weaker one.  


Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration 

You can find out if you are at risk of developing AMD. The risk factors include:


  • Being over 60 years old

  • Genetics, or having a family history of the condition

  • Your race—the condition is more common among Caucasians

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Being a female with light-colored eyes

  • Having cardiovascular disease, or a condition affecting your heart and blood vessels

  • Smoking or regular exposure to cigarette smoke

The factors can significantly increase your risk of developing macular degeneration. 


Preventing Macular Degeneration


If you have a high risk of developing AMD, you can make lifestyle changes to prevent the disease's development. Regular eye exams at Primary Eye Care can help detect early signs of the disease. 

Measures that can help you reduce your risk include managing existing medical conditions and maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish can prevent AMD. If you smoke, quitting is vital for your eye health.  


Visiting an Eye Doctor 

Macular degeneration can progress slowly over the years. Visiting an eye doctor early can help prevent vision loss due to AMD. If you notice changes in your vision, you need to see a doctor. If your ability to see fine detail or colors is impaired, consult an eye specialist. These are usually the early indications of AMD.

If you have a high risk of developing AMD, you need to talk to your doctor and schedule regular eye exams. Prolonged sun exposure can increase your risk of developing the condition. Wear eye protection every time you go out in the sun.

For more on whether you are at risk of developing macular degeneration, visit Primary Eye Care at our Tupelo, Mississippi office. Call (662) 200-9842 today to schedule an appointment.

Helpful Articles
none 08:30 AM - 5:30 PM 08:30 AM - 5:30 PM 08:30 AM - 5:30 PM 08:30 AM - 5:30 PM 08:30 AM - 12:30 PM CLOSED CLOSED optometrist # # #