– Straight lines, such as a telephone pole or door frame, may appear wavy
– A dark or empty spot may block the center of vision
– Written words or type may appear blurry
These symptoms may represent a potentially serious eye problem such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration, also called AMD. More than 2 million Americans ages 50 and over have AMD, a 25 percent increase from the last decade. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness for those aged 65 and older.
February is AMD Awareness Month – a perfect time to learn more about this eye disease for which there is no cure. Take preventative measures to maintain your eye health and lower the risk of AMD. Steps you can take include:
– Visit your ophthalmologist regularly
– Stop smoking
– Eat healthy foods, including those rich in antioxidants
– Stay active
– Control your blood pressure
– Wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a brimmed hat
There are two forms of AMD – dry and wet. Dry AMD is the most common form of the disease. It involves the presence of drusen – fatty deposits that form under the light-sensing cells in the retina. Vision loss in dry AMD usually progresses slowly. Wet AMD is less common, but more rapidly threatening to vision. Wet AMD causes small blood vessels under the retina to leak or break open, and distorts the vision. Although there are treatments for AMD, there is no cure.