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Are You Showing Signs of Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye condition common in older Americans, slowly damages your central and color vision. Signs and symptoms of the condition can be subtle at first and may not seem particularly alarming. Fortunately, your optometrist can spot changes in your eyes before you notice any vision problems.
What Happens if You Have AMD
AMD affects the macula, the central part of your retina. The retina, a layer of cells at the back of your eye, contains photoreceptor cells called rods and cones that transform light rays into electrical impulses. Once the impulses reach the brain, they're converted into recognizable images.
Cones, located in the center part of your field of vision, help you see colors and make good central vision possible. If AMD damages the cones, you may notice changes in the way you see the world. Two forms of AMD can cause vision problems. They include:
Do Any of These Symptoms Sound Familiar?
AMD may not cause any noticeable symptoms at first. As the condition worsens, you may experience:
AMD Treatment Options
Although there isn't a medication or procedure to treat the dry form of AMD at this time, you can do a few things that may help you protect your eye health. The American Academy of Ophthalmology notes that taking a combination of nutritional supplements may slow the progression of dry AMD in some cases. The recommended supplements include:
Improving your diet, getting more exercise, and quitting smoking may also be helpful.
If you have the wet form of AMD, your optometrist may recommend eye injections that stop unhealthy blood vessels from developing in the macula. Laser therapy, another treatment option, seals leaky vessels.
Whether you have AMD symptoms or it's time for your annual eye examination, we're here to help you care for your eyes. Contact our office to schedule your appointment.