February is National Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month. Now is the perfect time to discuss this incredibly common eye condition that can cause adults — particularly over the age of 50 — to experience low vision.
At Susskind & Almallah Eye Associates, your eyes are our top priority. We know that keeping you well-informed is a part of a great defense against many potential eye issues.
What You Need to Know About Age-Related Macular Degeneration
According to The American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF), macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, and it affects more than 10 million Americans. Macular degeneration does not cause total blindness. However, people with this disease may experience low vision issues that can interfere with their daily lives, including:
- Dark areas
- Dull colors
The condition occurs when a small portion of the retina called the macula degenerates. The macula is located near the back of the eye and is responsible for central vision and fine details.
AMD doesn’t affect peripheral vision. People with AMD may be able to see a large shape like a face, but not the facial features. This can make everyday tasks incredibly difficult, not to mention potentially less enjoyable.
There are several risk factors for AMD, including:
- Being over the age of 50
- Having a family history of AMD
How To Protect Your Eyes from AMD
AMD can cause a gradual decline in vision. You may not notice the effects of the condition until you start to experience severe low vision issues. That’s why regular eye exams are so important.
During your appointment, our highly-trained ophthalmologists will examine your eyes to look for any signs of the condition. They will also be on the lookout for any other issues or concerns as part of your comprehensive visit.
It is important for everyone to receive routine eye exams. Older patients should come in for an appointment at least once a year unless our ophthalmologists recommend a different frequency. Remember to call us if you experience any visual changes.
Additionally, a healthy lifestyle may help prevent AMD. To ensure excellent eye health, try to:
- Avoid smoking
- Exercise daily
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels
Currently, there is no cure for AMD. Prevention and early detection are your best weapons against this disease. If you are diagnosed with AMD, our ophthalmologists may recommend a few steps that you can take to attempt to slow any vision loss. These steps may include:
- Taking vitamin and mineral supplements
- Laser therapy
- Special eye medications
- Low vision optical aids
Schedule Your AMD Exam in Toms River
This February, take the time to prioritize your visual wellness. Schedule a comprehensive eye examination at Susskind & Almallah Eye Associates by calling 732-349-5622 today.
Our ophthalmologists are here to protect your eyes today and for years to come. We welcome patients from across New Jersey at our convenient Manalapan Township, Toms River, Brick, and Barnegat locations.