Did you know that age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss? It’s true. In fact, it affects more than 2 million Americans, men and women age fifty and older. And in many people the vision loss is a slow progression, advancing so slowly the patient may not realize the damage until considerable damage has been done. There is no pain associated with the condition. The most common early symptom is a blurred area near the center of vision. That blurred area may continue to grow, or it may cause blank spots in a patient’s field of vision. One other more advanced symptom is when objects appear dull, or less bright than they once seemed to appear.
But age-related macular degeneration does not, by itself, lead to complete blindness. A patient suffering the affliction may have trouble with everyday activities: a patient will have trouble seeing faces, be unable—or have trouble—to read, write, cook, work with tools, etc. It’s the straight-ahead type of vision, damage to the part of the eye that allows you to see the finer details. It could be present in one or both eyes.
There are certain risk factors that can lead to premature macular degeneration. Smoking, according to the National Eye Institute, can virtually double the risk. And, like all things, family history and genetics play a major factor. A person with a family member afflicted with the condition is at a much higher risk. If you are someone with risk factors that could place you high on the spectrum of developing the condition, then it’s important to keep to regular eye appointments with your optometrist at Vision Optical. The early symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration can only be detected during a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
And if you have any questions about your vision, or would like to speak with an experienced optometrist who can give you invaluable information about your own vision, and provide you with a management plan moving forward, then make sure to call Vision Optical today.