Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age

Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age

Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age

 What Is Macular Degeneration?

 Macular Degeneration is a result of deterioration in the central portion of the retina. The back layer of the retina sends signals to the optic nerve, which transmits those images to the brain. The macula is located in the center part of the retina and allows the eye to focus on details. This part of the eye allows you to read, recognize facial expressions, drive, and see colors.

 The aging process

 Age-related macular degeneration or (AMD) is the most common form of macular degeneration. This disease is more common in those who are fifty-five and older. The risk of macular degeneration increases as you age.  Some other risk factors can be family history of the disease, smoking, and race, as caucasians are more likely to develop AMD than African-Americans or those of hispanic descent. If you have light irides or are female you may be at a higher risk than males or those with darker irides. Women are more prone to AMD, especially since they tend to live longer than men.

 Is Age Macular Degeneration curable?

 Macular degeneration at this time is not curable. But even though the disease is not curable there are several things that you can do to help prevent and delay its progression.

 Risk factors which increase your chances of developing AMD

The use of UV protected sunglasses is important not only for AMD prevention, but for your eye health in general. Reduce your exposure to blue light. Blue light is the light that comes off computers, cell phones, and television screens.

Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age           Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age

Smoking — quit, or better yet, just don’t start. Smoking can increase your likelihood of developing age-related macular degeneration by 50%. Exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Get in at least three 30 minute sessions a week for your eye health as well as your overall well being.

Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age

 Find out resources available

 What can be expected with age-related macular degeneration?  First, you should understand that not everyone who has this disease will develop late stage AMD. Talk to your eye specialist. They can advise you about resources available to you and may be able to  advise you where to locate those resources. Also, if you are eligible, Medicare may cover many of the visual aids and tests you require.

Talk to your doctor

Your eye specialist can advise you as what to expect and ways to treat the disease. Follow the doctor’s instructions. Make sure you keep and schedule regular eye appointments.  Lastly, allow yourself to grieve. Loss or possible loss of your vision is scary, but remember that there is help available. Do you have any other tips for coping with age-related macular degeneration? Comment below!


One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Travis Zigler


Other Macular Degeneration articles by Dr. Zigler: Managing Macular Degeneration: Diet and LifestyleHow Fast Does Macular Degeneration Progress?Will I Go Blind From Macular Degeneration?

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