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February is age-related macular degeneration & low vision awareness month.
Low vision occurs when someone has a significant visual impairment which can not be corrected by glasses, contact lenses or surgery; these visual impairments can be caused by a number of things such as birth defects, eye injuries, and diseases of the eye like age-related macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration is a condition of the eye which is relatively common in adults over the age of 50. In fact, macular degeneration is the second-highest cause of irreversible blindness in the world and the leading cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 65.
Age-related macular degeneration also known as AMD, is the deterioration of the macula, the part of the eye that is responsible for our sharp central vision. Typically the loss of central vision is slow and painless but in some cases the vision loss can occur much more rapidly.
While age has certainly been shown to play a significant role in AMD, it is without doubt not the only factor at play. This condition of the eye has been found to be genetic and occurs more frequently in Caucasians than those of African descent. The genetic nature of this condition and others illustrates why it is critical that you know and share your family’s medical history with your optometrist. Studies have also found that smoking increases the risk of AMD considerably.
If you or a loved one is experiencing shadowy areas in your central vision or fuzzy/distorted vision, call to schedule an eye exam today as these can be early symptoms of AMD. Often a dilated eye exam can detect the very early signs of AMD which is just one of the many reasons we recommend having regular eye exams.
Visit www.MyCompleteEyecare.com anytime to learn more about our state-of-the-art practice as well as various conditions of the eye.
Want to read more about macular degeneration?
All About Vision is a great source of information!