Did you know that millions of individuals have age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? This condition is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. As we observe AMD Awareness Month this February, your trusted eye specialist from Park Slope Eye sheds light on this condition.
What Causes It
AMD develops when the macula, a small spot in your retina, becomes damaged over time. This condition causes central vision changes and, potentially, irreversible vision loss. Aging is a major risk factor for developing AMD. Having a family history of this disease also increases your risk. Individuals who smoke, are overweight and Caucasian are at a higher risk too.
Your expert eye care clinic explains that there are two types of AMD: dry and wet. Around 90% of all reported AMD cases are the dry type, which occurs when your retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptors start to atrophy and lose their functionality. As these macular layers become thinner, your macula may start to change color and your retina may form yellow freckles, known as drusen. These are your eyes’ waste products.
Wet AMD occurs when the choroid membrane, the layer supplying your retina with blood, deteriorates. This compromises the oxygen and nutrient delivery to your eyes. Although new blood vessels may grow to compensate for this problem, they will be fragile and prone to breaking. As a result, blood leaks into your macula, causing swelling and potential damage.
The most important way to manage AMD is to have your eyes checked routinely. This way, we can provide appropriate eye care to control the condition and preserve your vision. Eating eye-friendly nutrients, stopping smokin, and exercising regularly can also help maintain your visual health. We may recommend surgery as well to stop irregular blood vessels from spreading.
For more information about AMD, complete our form to schedule an appointment. We serve residents in Brooklyn and nearby New York areas.