Macular Degeneration Awareness Month: What to Know
Submitted by Elman Retina Group on February 12, 2021
Elman Retina Group and other members of the retinal community recognize February as Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. Our practice feels a responsibility to educate you about this sight-stealing disease and help you understand how prevalent it is.
Read on as our team shines a spotlight on age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD is the leading cause of vision loss among adults.
According to the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), 11 million Americans are affected by AMD, which is the progressive breakdown of the macula (the center and most important part of the retina). This is more than the number of people affected by dry eye and glaucoma combined! The ASRS projects the number of people affected by AMD to double by 2050.
There are often no symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
Macular degeneration is a tricky disease because it often does not cause obvious visual impairment in the early stages, which are known as “dry AMD.” If you develop dry AMD, the only clue that something may be wrong is a slight difference in your ability to see small letters or objects.
As the disease progresses into the more severe form, known as “wet AMD,” you may notice portions of your central vision are blurry or even missing. Straight lines may appear warped, wavy or distorted, and colors may look duller than usual.
Be aware of your personal risk factors.
If you are at least 50 years old, Caucasian or have a family history of AMD, be extra cognizant about potential symptoms of the disease. If you have difficulty recognizing faces or reading small text, schedule an evaluation to get your eyes checked with a thorough eye exam with dilation!
Early detection is crucial.
When AMD is caught early, you have a better chance of stopping or delaying the progression of the disease with less invasive therapies. For example, taking a nutritional supplement with the AREDS or AREDS2 formula has been shown to help prevent dry AMD from progressing to wet AMD.
Elman Retina Group can help protect your vision.
Elman Retina Group understands how unsettling it can be to receive a diagnosis of AMD. With our experience, we can further educate you about AMD and help you manage the disease so you can avoid losing your precious eyesight. Sometimes the answer is as simple as making some lifestyle changes and taking control of your general health.
If you have been diagnosed with AMD, contact us today to create a plan of action. You can give us a call or send us an email.