February is Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

February is Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

AMD, age related macular degeneration, and is concerning diagnosis. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 65 years of age and there are approximately 200,000 new cases diagnosed each year with this number projected to climb considerably. AMD currently affects nearly 15 million Americans.

Macular degeneration can be one of two types “wet” or “dry”. Dry macular degeneration is typically the first manifestation of the disease to be seen, and 10% of patients’ progress to wet macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration is more server than the “dry” type. The macula is a small area in the back of the eye which is the most responsible for vision. Because the macula is responsible for seeing highly detailed vision, it has a very high density of photoreceptors. In AMD, these photoreceptors degenerate and die. As a result, the central vision is compromised and central vision is no longer intact. Even though AMD destroys central vision, patients usually preserve their peripheral vision.

Wet AMD is the combination of dry AMD and growth of new, weak blood vessels in the macula. These vessels are weak and tend to leak blood cells and blood plasma into the retinal tissue disrupting it and impairing vison further.

Risk Factors for AMD:

  • Patient’s Age
  • Family History of AMD
  • Women are slightly more at risk than men
  • Caucasian have higher risk
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light
  • Poor Diet

Possible treatments for AMD:

Although there is no cure for AMD, treatment can sometimes help reduce the negative effects and delay disease progression.

  • Wearing Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Taking Vitamins (AREDs formulation)
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Ocular Medication Therapy

Dr. Ozment at Optique Professional Eye Care in Tulsa, experience diagnosing and managing patients with macular degeneration. Let us help guide you to help preserve your vision. Call (918)743-9918, and schedule your visit with our Tulsa Eye Doctor.