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Are You at Risk of Macular Degeneration?

Jun 1, 2024

Have you ever wondered if you are at risk of developing macular degeneration? It’s a common concern, especially as we age. Age-related macular degeneration (or AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people ages 50 and older. While people rarely go blind from AMD, it can make it difficult to read, drive, or recognize faces. Learn about the risk factors of AMD and how you can reduce your risk of developing this condition and vision loss.  

What is macular degeneration?  

First, what exactly is macular degeneration? Macular degeneration is a common eye disease that affects the macula, the part of your eye that controls clear, straight-ahead vision. As light-sensitive cells in the macula break down over time, it causes blurry vision and distorted vision in the center of your visual field. There are two main types of macular degeneration: dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration is more common and progresses slowly over time, while wet macular degeneration is less common but progresses rapidly and can cause severe vision loss. 

Risk factors for macular degeneration 

Certain factors can raise your risk of developing this condition. Knowing these factors can help you lower your risk of AMD and potentially save your sight. Risk factors include: 

  • Age (over 50) 
  • Family history of AMD 
  • Race (Caucasians are at higher risk) 
  • Smoking 
  • Obesity 
  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Prolonged sun exposure 

Early detection of AMD & treatment 

If you’re at risk of developing AMD, schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Vision Center of Lake Norman in Mooresville or Lifetime Eyecare in Newton today. Our eye doctors use advanced diagnostic technology like the AdaptDx Pro® test by MacuLogix® to detect macular degeneration in its early stages, often before you notice symptoms. The AdaptDx Pro® test measures dark adaptation speed, which may reveal AMD three years earlier than other tests. By catching AMD early on, we can recommend personalized treatment options to help slow down its progression and preserve your vision for as long as possible.  

We may suggest lifestyle changes and MacuHealth supplements to support your eye health. These supplements contain lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin—three powerful antioxidants that support eye health and may help reduce the risk of progression in patients with AMD. It’s also important to avoid smoking, eat a healthy diet, and exercise on a regular basis. Wearing sunglasses with proper UV protection can also help protect your eyes.  

Most importantly, remember to schedule regular eye exams with your optometrist to monitor your eye health and catch any issues early on. Contact us today to schedule your eye exam for macular degeneration in Newton or Mooresville, North Carolina!