February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month
Here are two sobering facts:
- Age-related macular degeneration (in its later stages) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness and visual impairment in the world.
- Nearly 20 million people in the United States are living with some type and degree of age-related macular degeneration.
Sobering, yes, but not hopeless. At Ighani Eye Care, we are passionately dedicated to helping our patients enjoy healthy vision for a lifetime. This includes educating you about the various eye conditions that have the potential to rob you of your precious sight. As February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, we’d like to take some time to share important information about this sight-stealing disease.
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Age-Related Macular Degeneration, also called AMD, is an eye disease that has a strong hereditary factor. It affects your central vision, where the sharpest vision occurs, causing difficulty with daily tasks like driving, reading and even recognizing faces.
The most common form of AMD is “dry” AMD, and it is caused by the appearance of small yellow deposits called drusen, which form under the retina. Dry AMD is by far the most common and typically progresses slowly. “Wet” AMD is much more rare and generally causes more rapid and more serious vision loss. In this form of the disease, tiny new blood vessels grow under and into the retina. These blood vessels are fragile and can break and leak, causing a loss of vision.
How is AMD Treated?
At Ighani Eye Care, treatment for dry AMD begins with routine eye exams, especially after age 60. The goal is early detection! Although there is presently no cure for AMD, treatment can prevent or slow the progression of the disease.
If detected, Dr. Ighani may prescribe a combination of nutritional supplements. This supplement is called AREDS2, which is a special combination of vitamins and minerals that have been shown to slow the progression of the condition.
Wet AMD treatment can include a number of options, including intravitreal injections that inhibit the growth of the abnormal blood cells that cause wet AMD.
Am I at Risk for AMD?
AMD does run in families, but beyond the hereditary element, risk factors associated with age-related macular degeneration include:
- Being 50 and older
- A diet high in saturated fat
- High blood pressure
So, especially if people in your family have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, it is important to do what you can to prevent the disease by eating a healthy diet, don’t smoke and, most importantly, have annual comprehensive eye exams.
Comprehensive, Compassionate Eye Care
Dr. I is an experienced, board-certified and skilled eye doctor with expertise in a wide range of eye care, from medical eye exams and eye surgery like cataract surgery and LASIK to the diagnosis, treatment and management of complex eye diseases.
Since many eye diseases and conditions come with no early warning signs, an annual comprehensive eye exam enables early detection of conditions like macular degeneration, diabetic eye changes, glaucoma and more. Routine eye examinations are the best safeguard for maintaining good vision at any stage of life. Schedule one today and discover the Ighani Eye Care difference for yourself.