When it comes to vision loss in seniors, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common problem seen by eye doctors in Chicago . In developed countries, AMD is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in older adults. If you are nearing age 60 and have concerns about your eye care, then continue reading to learn more about this condition.
The Basics of AMD
At the center of the retina is a small area called the macula, which provides pinpoint vision and enables you to see details clearly. In this way, the macula plays an important role in helping you read, drive, and recognize faces. Macular degeneration refers to the breakdown of the macula, and it’s common for people to develop this condition as a natural part of the aging process. For this reason, age-related macular degeneration is the most common type of macular problem.
The Causes of AMD
Macular degeneration can result from abnormal blood vessel growth beneath the retina. The formation of deposits under the retina, called drusen, are another cause. Studies indicate that genetic changes could be responsible for many cases of macular degeneration, and researchers suspect that the oxidative stress caused by the formation of free radicals in the body may also play a role in the development of AMD.
The Symptoms of AMD
AMD can affect your central vision by causing blurriness, distortion, or dark spots, and this condition rarely impacts the peripheral vision. As an example, someone with advanced AMD might be able to see the outer ring of numbers when looking at a clock, but not the hands in the middle.
The Treatment of AMD
At this time, there is no cure for macular degeneration. However, your eye doctor may recommend several options that can potentially reduce how AMD affects your eyesight and address your symptoms. Supplementation with certain vitamins has been shown to be beneficial, and your eye doctor may also recommend laser therapy, vision aids, or medications as part of your treatment.