Top Macular Degeneration (AMD) Risk Factors

Monday, February 16, 2015

Top AMD Risk Factors

As February is designated Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, D’Ambrosio Eye Care  wanted to share important information about the Top 5 Risk Factors for Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)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 scheduling regular eye exam appointments with your eye doctor can help reduce your risks for vision loss from macular degeneration. The key to preventing vision loss from age related macular degeneration is early detection, diagnosis and treatment as recommended by your eye doctor.

Know the Top AMD Risks
Ø  Being over the Age of 60
Ø  Having a Family History of AMD
Ø  Cigarette Smoking
Ø  Obesity
Ø  Hypertension

If you have any two of these risk factors, you should schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam and evaluation.

Managing AMD Risk Factors
There are some AMD risk factors that a person can change such as smoking and diet to reduce the risk of vision loss from AMD, but other factors such as genetics are just a part of who you are. It is important, if possible, to know your family medical history regarding eye problems such as AMD. A sound way to reduce your AMD risk is to quit smoking or better yet,  never start. For patients at high risk for developing late stage AMD, taking a dietary supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, has been shown to lower the risk of AMD advancing to advanced stages by 25 percent. Eating green leafy vegetables and reducing alcohol consumption are also helpful in preventing AMD.

Know the Symptoms of Wet AMD
Wet AMD is the type of macular degeneration most likely to cause rapid and serious vision loss. Thus, people who are at risk should know the symptoms of Wet AMD as with early detection, diagnosis and treatment it is possible to avoid or minimize vision loss from Wet AMD.
Symptoms of Wet AMD can include sudden, noticeable loss or distortion of vision, such as seeing “wavy” lines, “distortion”, “bending of straight lines and objects”. If you experience any of these symptoms, please call our office right away and explain your symptoms and request an immediate appointment.

Current treatments for Wet AMD such as injections of VEGF Inhibitors including Lucentis® and Eylea® provide an excellent chance of stopping vision loss and may actually restore some vision when macular degeneration develops. Earlier diagnosis of wet AMD gives a much more favorable chance of successful treatment.

If you or someone you know has 2 or more of the top AMD risk factors, you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or so that we can help you manage your risk of AMD.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.