Macular degeneration is one of the most common causes of vision loss in adults, even though experts do not know exactly what the cause is. While there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), there are numerous things you can do to reduce your risk of developing the irreversible condition. First and foremost, it is imperative you visit your local eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. Early detection is absolutely key to catching and stopping AMD before it turns into a much more serious version of itself.
Beyond visiting your eye doctor on a regular basis, it is also important that you understand the common signs and symptoms of AMD. By taking the time to educate yourself about what to look for, you will be better prepared to deal with any early signs, especially if you schedule an appointment with your eye doctor right away. The majority of AMD cases come on slowly and without much warning, but there are a few things you can look for that may indicate macular degeneration is sneaking its way in:
- Shadowy areas in your central vision
- Fuzzy or distorted vision
- An illusion that straight lines are wavy
- An illusion that objects appear smaller than they really are
- The appearance of a gray or empty area in the middle of your visual field
- Color vision is paler than normal
While these signs may help you catch AMD before it progresses, the best way to detect it is through a comprehensive eye exam.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration affects more than 10 million Americans, making it the leading cause of vision loss. This incurable eye disease occurs when the central portion of the retina begins to deteriorate. The macular – or the retina’s center – is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye while also controlling how we read, focus on objects and faces, drive, and see objects in detail. When the cells of the macula begin to deteriorate, it can lead to blurred vision and complete vision loss over time.
Preventing Macular Degeneration
Now that we’ve looked at some of the signs of macular degeneration and what it is, let’s go over what you can do to avoid it altogether:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a nutritious diet that includes leafy green vegetables, orange and yellow fruit, fish, and whole grains
- Avoid smoking
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Make sure your blood pressure is normal
- Control all other medical conditions
- Wear both sunglasses and hats when outside
- Get regular eye exams and consult your doctor if you notice any changes in vision
- Take a multivitamin
- Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates
To learn more about what you can do to prevent macular degeneration, please contact First Eye Care DFW today.