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Home » Eye Care Services » Your Eye Health » Eye Diseases » Macular Degeneration Information » Symptoms & Risk Factors of Macular Degeneration

Symptoms & Risk Factors of Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration can cause low vision and debilitating vision loss, even blindness if not diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Because the disease often has no obvious symptoms early on, it is critical to have regular comprehensive eye exams, particularly if you are at risk.

Symptoms of AMD

Macular degeneration is a disease in which the macula slowly breaks down, resulting in a gradual progressive vision loss, at least in its’ early stages. Frequently there are no symptoms and the disease is only diagnosed when a doctor detects signs such as a thinning macula or the presence of drusen in a comprehensive eye examination. Early vision loss can include blurry, cloudy or distorted central vision or dark spots in your central field of view. With advanced stages, vision loss can be severe and sudden with larger blind spots and total loss of central vision.

Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration

Age is the most prominent risk factor for AMD, as the disease is most common in individuals over the age of 60 (although it can happen in younger individuals as well). Other risk factors can increase your chances of developing the disease such as:

  • Genetics and Family History: Research shows that there are actually almost 20 genes that have been linked to AMD, and they suspect that there are many more genetic factors to be discovered. Family history greatly increases your chances of developing AMD.
  • Race: Caucasians are more likely to get AMD than Hispanics or African-Americans.
  • Smoking: Cigarette smoking can double your likelihood of developing AMD.
  • Lifestyle: Research shows that UV exposure, poor nutrition, high blood pressure, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle can also be contributing factors.
  • Gender: Females have a higher incidence of AMD than males.
  • Medications: Certain medications may increase the chances of developing AMD.

To reduce your risks of developing AMD it is recommended to make healthy choices such as:

    • Regular eye exams; once a year especially if you are 50 or over.
    • Stop smoking.
    • Know your family history and inform your eye doctor.

 

  • Proper nutrition and regular exercise: Research indicates that a healthy diet rich in “Eyefoods” with key nutrients for the eyes such as orange peppers, kale and spinach as well as regular exercise may reduce your risks or slow the progression of AMD.
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
  • Dietary supplements: Studies by the National Eye Institute called AREDs and ARED2 indicated that a high dosage of supplements of zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E and lutein may slow the progression of advanced dry AMD (it is not recommended for those without AMD or early AMD). Speak to a doctor before taking these supplements because there may be associated risks involved.
  • Wear 99% -100% UV-blocking sunglasses.

 

The first step to eye health is awareness. By knowing your risk, taking preventative measures and visiting your eye doctor on a regular basis, you can greatly reduce your chances of facing this debilitating disease.

To Our Beloved Patients...

We are closely monitoring the fluid situation and want to be extremely vigilant to do our best to flatten out the curve for our community, country and globally. To respect social distancing as recommended by the CDC, the City of Keller, and our various Medical and Optometric Associations, it is with great considerations we must implement some changes to our schedule starting June 1st, 2020. Thank you all for your patience and understanding during this challenging time as we navigate through a global crisis.

Our hours of operation will be 8:30am-5pm Monday through Friday, closing for lunch from 12:00-1:00. We are open the 2nd Saturday of every month by appointment only, from 8:30am-2pm.

The front door will be locked, and only scheduled patients will be allowed in the office one at a time. If you arrive at our office, please call 817-562-2020 and let us know the nature of your visit. We will do our best to help you.

We will be providing curb side delivery for ALL materials such as glasses and contacts lenses.

We will be conducting temperature checks of anyone entering the office and have them use hand sanitizer at the door.

Questions that will be asked of patients prior to appointment...

1. Have you or anyone in your household been out of the country in the last month or have traveled to any high-risk areas?

2. Have you or anyone in your household been sick or experiencing any flu or cold like symptoms?

3. Are you having any major vision changes, ocular pain or discomfort? If not, then you may be asked to schedule at a later date.

May God bless you and your family,

Baker Family Eyecare