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Macular Degeneration

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Chances are, you know someone dealing with macular degeneration, or are dealing with it yourself. These chances only increase when the people involved are aged 50 and above, as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of vision loss among older Americans.

In addition to advanced age, some common risk factors include sex (women are at higher risk), diets high in saturated fats, heredity, cardiovascular conditions, smoking, and extensive exposure to sunlight. If you’re in these affected groups, it’s beneficial to know the signs and symptoms of macular degeneration so that you can receive proper treatment as soon as possible, should you begin to experience them. While there is no cure for AMD, treatments can delay the disease’s progression and even improve your vision.

Early signs of macular degeneration include spotty, fuzzy, wavy, or otherwise distorted vision. You may notice different levels of vision in each eye, as the condition can affect one or both eyes. It can also affect each eye differently, so it’s important to check both eyes separately while testing for AMD. There are also multiple types of AMD to be aware of–dry (non-exudative) and wet (exudative). Dry AMD is the more common variety, while the less common wet AMD can be more severe, sometimes causing sudden vision loss.

If you’re concerned about your vision, don’t wait to schedule a comprehensive exam with your eye care provider. Ophthalmologists and optometrists can help you develop a treatment plan and combat the effects of diseases like macular degeneration.

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