February is Macular Degeneration Awareness Month
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that worsens over time. It causes central vision loss and even blindness, and is a leading cause of visual impairment in older adults. In fact, AMD impacts more than 11 million people in the U.S. alone.
What is Macular Degeneration?
AMD affects the central part of the retina called the macula. There are two types of AMD, wet and dry. But both types can cause severe loss of your central vision.
The more common Dry AMD results in thinning of the retina and deposit of protein clumps called drusen. The result is slow vision loss and, unfortunately, is untreatabe.
Wet AMD is less common but can cause more rapid and severe vision loss. This, secondary to the growth of small, leaky blood vessels that lead to bleeding and scarring in the retina. Wet AMD can be treated with a laser or injections.
How Will I Know if I am at Risk for Macular Degeneration?
As the name suggests, older people are more at risk for AMD. Other risk factors include diets high in saturated fats, obesity, high blood pressure and smoking. Additionally, there is a hereditary element.
Treatment and Prevention of Macular Degeneration
A unique multivitamin called AREDS2 slows the progression of dry AMD. However, it doesn’t prevent you from acquiring the disease and you should only take it if your eye doctor recommends it.
To help treat wet AMD, we offer anti-VEGF medications. They are designed to shrink abnormal blood vessels in the retina and also decrease swelling. In certain people, treatment with anti-VEGF will improve vision.
For prevention, eat lots of green, leafy vegetables and wear UV-blocking sunglasses while outdoors. Have regular eye exams as AMD can be present for a long time without symptoms.
Your Vision is Our Passion
At Cargo Eye Care of Las Colinas, we expertly diagnose and treat eye diseases like AMD at our state-of-the-art office in Irving. An annual comprehensive eye exam is your best defense against eye disease. For more information, please schedule an appointment.