Be aware of these AMD Risk Factors

Regular eye examinations are vital in order to identify the early onset of eye diseases,inclusive ofage-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a condition that occurs because ofa breakdown in the macula of the eye. The macula is located in the retina, which is at the back of the eye. While the causes of AMD are not known, there are some notable risk factors to be aware of.

Symptoms of AMD
If you have difficulty reading small print even with your reading glasses, then you may have AMD. The function of the macula is to allow you to clearly see fine details, such as small print in the newspaper. Therefore when it deteriorates the function is compromised. Also, for some people with AMD straight lines often look distorted or wavy.

AMD Risk Factors

 

  • Age is one of the most noted risk factors, as AMD often results in vision loss in people over the age of 50. Aging can result in the deterioration in parts of the retina, and this puts people over the age of 50 at greater risk for the condition. However, people in their 40’s have also developed AMD.

 

  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity can significantly increase the risk of AMD. Studies carried out indicate that people who stop smoking can lower their risk of getting the eye disease.

 

  • Individuals with health issues such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are also more predisposed to AMD.

 

  • Race and gender are also factors.  Caucasians are more likely to develop AMD than other ethnic groups, and men are more susceptible to AMD than women.

If you think that you are at risk for AMD, or you have any of these symptoms, then it is important to visit your ophthalmologist, so that he can perform the requisite tests. If you live in the greater Fort Lauderdale area, then you can set up a consultation with Dr. Loeffler at the Center for Ophthalmology and Laser Surgery.

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