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Age-Related Macular Degeneration, aka AMD, is a Serious Eye Disease That Can Lead to Vision Loss

An estimated 2.5 million Americans live with some form of AMD, with that number expected to reach nearly 3.5 million by 2030. These figures are skewed toward senior citizens, with the majority of AMD patients being seniors aged 60 and older. Regular eye exams are the best way to detect and manage AMD.

There Is No Cure for AMD

Unfortunately, AMD cannot be cured. Though there are promising treatments in development, there are currently no FDA-approved treatments that cure AMD. However, major clinical studies have shown that AMD may be influenced by diet and lifestyle factors.

The best way to detect and manage AMD is with routine eye examinations, which allows our doctors to detect early progressive changes. The earlier treatable AMD changes are detected, the better their prognosis.

Vision Lost to AMD Cannot Be Restored

The eyes are delicate organs, and vision lost to eye diseases (such as AMD or glaucoma) generally cannot be restored. For this reason, our focus is always on the protection and preservation of visual acuity.

AMD Rarely Causes Total Blindness, But it Does Cause Significant Vision Loss

Age-related macular degeneration can take a significant toll on your central vision, where drusen (waste products) form and are deposited. However, AMD rarely causes total blindness on its own. Despite this, the loss of central vision can have a major impact on your quality of life.

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Dittman Eyecare’s Genetic Testing

More Information About AMD

When to get exams

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends annual or bi-annual eye exams for healthy children and adults, or annual eye exams for seniors. In addition to comprehensive eye exams, Dittman Eyecare offers Macula Risk® PGx Genetic Testing, which assists in determining a patient’s risk of developing AMD, and supports the accuracy of appropriate treatment options based on the patient’s genetic profile. Schedule your eye exam today.

What is age-related macular degeneration?

AMD is the slow degradation of the light cells in your eye. It occurs on the macula, which is the part of the eye primarily responsible for central vision.

It erodes your central vision, creating blind spots and areas where vision is blurry or hazy.

Causes of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

There is no known exact cause of AMD other than that it develops over time with age.

Types of AMD

There are two types of AMD: atrophic AMD, and exudative AMD.

Atrophic (Dry) AMD

Dry AMD accounts for the majority of AMD cases. This version of AMD is when deposits of drusen – a dull, yellowish deposit – appear on the macula. Over time, and especially without management, dry AMD will eat away at your central vision.

Exudative (Wet) AMD

Wet AMD is the more severe (and rare) form of AMD. Weak and damaged blood vessels form beneath the retina and macula, leaking blood (and other fluids) into the eye. This results in damaged vision, including blind spots.
Learn more about AMD.

Treating & managing AMD

There is no cure for macular degeneration at this time. The best way to manage AMD is to reduce your risk factors through lifestyle choices.

  • Eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables
  • Be active and exercise regularly
  • Don’t smoke
  • Reduce your exposure to UV radiation (the sun, tanning beds) by protecting your eyes (wear sunglasses)
  • Work with an Optometrist to manage and monitor its progression