Do obscure dark spots disrupt your vision? As part of the body’s aging process, the retina, a light-sensitive tissue lining the back wall of the eye, can begin to breakdown. The central portion of the retina is called the macula. One of the most common macular difficulties is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In the U.S., AMD is the leading cause of blindness for adults 50 years and older.
The macula plays a special role. It is responsible for the eyes’ central vision, allowing you to see acute details clearly and to complete tasks such as reading fine print and deciphering small objects or symbols from afar. Are you finding it hard to see the hands on the clock? That’s because AMD affects central vision, allowing only for side and peripheral vision. According to Eye Smart, symptoms include blurriness, dark areas, or distortion in your central vision. The causes of AMD vary from genetics to age. According to another article by Eye Smart, “one large study found that the risk of getting macular degeneration jumps from about 2 percent of middle-aged people in their 50s to nearly 30 percent in people over age 75.”
Two types of AMD to know about are dry and wet macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration is caused by the formation of yellow deposits (called drusen) under the macula, and atrophy of critical vision-serving cells. Wet macular degeneration, is characterized by abnormal blood vessels that grow under the macula in the back of the eye, leaking blood and fluid. Dry macular degeneration is the more common form of the disease, accounting for 80 percent of cases.
How do you know if you are at risk for AMD? Test yourself with the Amsler Grid below. If there are any holes or blurry spots, or if the lines appear to be crooked or distorted, you should contact EYE-Q Vision Care as soon as possible as these are potential signs of AMD.
Here’s the good news; we’re here to help! A lot of people don’t realize they have degeneration until they experience noticeable vision problems or have an eye exam. EYE-Q is your family’s one-stop resource for comprehensive eye care. Regular eye exams are an invaluable tool in maintaining your eyes’ health by detecting and preventing disease. Some diseases develop slowly without causing pain or vision loss. Early detection of any problems can reduce the risk of further harm and allow for a wider range of treatment options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.