Just as your body goes through physical changes as you get older, so do your eyes.
That’s why regular eye exams are so important for your vision health. A lot of eye diseases progress without any early symptoms, often causing distorted vision before a problem is even detected. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in particular typically shows no warning signs.
What Is AMD?
AMD is a progressive degeneration of the macula, the part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision. Your central vision allows you to see things straight ahead, identify faces, drive, read and watch television. In the U.S., AMD is the number one cause of vision loss.
There are two types of AMD, wet and dry. Dry AMD affects 80 to 90 percent of those diagnosed with AMD and generally progresses more slowly. Only 10 to 15 percent of those diagnosed with AMD have the wet type, however because it is more aggressive, it accounts for around 90 percent of all cases of vision loss from the disease.
Know The Symptoms
Although the development of AMD in its early stages can go unnoticed, the more aware you are of possible symptoms the better chance you will have at detecting the disease. See your eye doctor immediately if you experience any changes in vision like the following:
- Straight lines appear wavy or distorted
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty perceiving detail (i.e. words on a page)
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Dark spots blocking the center of your vision
- A difference in color perception
- Trouble seeing at a distance
If you are over 60, you should be getting an eye exam on an annual basis or as recommended by your eye care professional. Before the age of 60, your optometrist may still have you come in every year if he or she determines that you are at a higher risk for eye disease or if you require some kind of vision correction.
Remember, regular eye exams can save your vision. When signs and symptoms are caught early, we may be able to take steps to slow vision loss.
Find Help And Hope With Low Vision
AMD is one of the leading causes of low vision. Low vision is defined as a vision impairment that interferes with a person’s ability to perform everyday activities and cannot be corrected with eyeglasses, contacts or surgery. While it makes certain tasks in life more difficult, life with decreased vision can still go on, and go on beautifully!
Watch how Ruth Lotz has learned to cope and live with low vision caused by AMD.
If you are living with low vision, there are resources out there to help you live a full and abundant life, despite your vision impairment. Come into our office and visit http://lowvision.preventblindness.org/ to learn more.
If you have any questions concerning AMD, low vision, or any aspect of your vision health, call us. We’re here for you!