Are You at Risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Learn the Top 5 Risk Factors
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of severe vision loss among Americans ages 65 and over. Knowing your risk factors, being aware of your family history, and keeping regular appointments with your Eye M.D. can help reduce your risks for vision loss from macular degeneration. In its most severe form, known as wet AMD, the disease can lead to permanent loss of central vision which is essential for driving, reading, and recognizing faces.
“The past few years have been marked by significant improvement in understanding the causes and the treatment of AMD,” says George Williams, MD, an AMD expert and Academy clinical correspondent. “New research and clinical advances are helping us to better treat both the “dry” AMD and “wet” forms of AMD. One strong risk factor that people may not be aware of is family history. It’s important to find out whether your relatives have had AMD, and to tell your Eye M.D., if you have a history of AMD in your family. Knowing your risks can save your sight.”
Here are the top 5 risk factors for AMD:
• Being over the age of 60
• Having a family history of AMD
• Cigarette smoking
If you have any two of these risk factors, you should schedule an appointment with your Eye M.D for a complete evaluation. Your Eye M.D. may recommend certain preventive measures which can reduce your risk of vision loss from this disorder.
Source: The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). For more information about AMD and a wide variety of eye health resources, see the AOA’s EyeSmart consumer information website (http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/).