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Macular Degeneration—What You Should Know

Macular degeneration is an incredibly common vision problems and it is a leading cause of permanent vision loss. Learn more about this issue and find out how to protect your eyes.

What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is also often referred to as AMD, or age related macular degeneration, because in most cases it is caused by the natural deterioration of the eye as you get older. The macula is an important part of the retina and it helps to focus your central vision. The macula particularly helps with focusing on details, reading, recognizing faces, and driving. Left unchecked, macular degeneration can lead to permanent vision loss.

What are the signs and symptoms of macular degeneration?
Signs and symptoms of macular degeneration include blurred vision, difficulty seeing fine details, gradual worsening of vision, seeing shadow areas or spots, difficulty distinguishing colors, and distorted vision.

While patients may not notice the signs of macular degeneration until it has already progressed quite far, an optometrist can detect early signs of macular degeneration long before you notice problems. The sooner the problem is detected, the easier it is to protect and preserve your vision.

What can you do to minimize your risk?
The best way to minimize your risk is to get regular vision exams and to live a healthy, active lifestyle. Some things are out of your control but there are many ways to lower your risk. Common risk factors for macular degeneration include obesity, smoking, eating a high fat diet, having high blood pressure, and sustaining too much sun damage. Many of these problems can be prevented through eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing your stress levels.

What treatments are available?
While macular degeneration cannot be cured, it can be treated and slowed down in order to preserve your vision. There are a number of treatments available depending on the severity of your condition. Regular eye exams are key to treating macular degeneration and preventing as much vision loss as possible. Contact Shenandoah Lasik & Cataract Center to get schedule an eye exam and learn more about protecting your eyes and preventing vision loss.

Posted in: Macular Degeneration

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