Each of us is maturing. This natural progression can give us wisdom, perspective and greater self-control.
As we enter our 50s and 60s and beyond, there’s a natural increase in our risk for vision loss. A leading cause of adult vision loss in the U.S. is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). You should know about it.
AMD is a disease that affects the cells in the macula, the central area of the retina that’s responsible for seeing fine detail. In its early stages there are usually no noticeable symptoms, but with time AMD may degrade your sharp, central vision—making it difficult to read and drive.
There are two general types of AMD: wet and dry.
Dry AMD —Light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down, usually over the course of years or decades, leading patients to gradually lose central vision. Another symptom is that straight lines may start to appear crooked.
Wet AMD — A minority of dry AMD patients at some point abruptly develop wet AMD. With this condition, rapid vision loss is caused by abnormal blood vessels growing under the macula and leaking blood and fluid into the retinal tissue. Blurred vision and a sudden increase in distortion are common early symptoms. This form of AMD damages the macula quickly, but with prompt treatment vision can usually be stabilized or even improved.
In both conditions, regular eye exams will allow your health care provider to diagnose the disease earlier. Treatment can then start sooner, which can help slow vision loss.
You can take practical steps to protect your eye health. As an added benefit, these steps can help improve your overall health!
If you haven’t had time for an eye exam lately, it’s not too late. You can find a qualified eye care professional nearby. Get professional help with a range of vision concerns — from poor vision to serious eye health issues. Eye care is one of the many health care services Aurora provides.
Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care organization.