February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Month, and it helps to shed light on the condition. AMD is a breakdown of the macula.
The macula is the part of your eye that allows you to see fine details. While the exact cause of the disease remains unknown, it affects people due to aging.
Some people start experiencing the symptoms of AMD as early as their fifties. The likelihood of developing the condition dramatically increases as you enter your 60s and 70s.
Warning Signs of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
AMD affects your central vision. When you have age-related macular degeneration, colors become less vivid, and straight lines can start appearing wavy or curved. Below are more signs of AMD you should be aware of:
Dark Spots in Your Central Vision
If you have shadowy sections in the center of your vision, AMD might be responsible. In some cases, age-related macular degeneration can also result in a whited-out area in the middle of your visual field. This defect impacts your ability to recognize faces, drive, read, or watch TV.
AMD either presents no symptoms, or they will come on more gradually. You might realize you have blurry vision over time, especially when focusing on up-close objects.
You may also find that you cannot read what is on a medicine bottle or require more reading light. These symptoms slowly become worse.
Poor Depth Perception
Are you unable to judge distances properly? AMD may be the reason behind it. This can make walking harder and lead to missteps that can cause serious injuries.
If it is becoming more challenging to see slight textures and contrasts in stairs and pavements, this can increase your risk of falling. It might also be an indication of AMD.
You are 50 Years and Older
Have you recently celebrated your 50th birthday, or are you over the age of 50? It is essential to see your eye doctor at Grand Rapids Ophthalmology for regular eye exams.
Regular eye exams will ensure any vision problems, including AMD, are detected early before the symptoms have a chance to become more severe.
The Inability to Adjust to Changing Light Levels
If you have macular degeneration, you may find it hard to adjust to lighting that goes from very dark to very bright and vice versa. For instance, if everything appears black when you step into a dimly lit room and need several minutes to adjust to the lighting changes, these may be signs of AMD.
Early detection of age-related macular degeneration is crucial in preventing extensive eye degradation and total vision loss. Although the disease currently doesn’t have a cure, various treatment options can considerably slow its progress and stop severe vision loss.
These include vitamins, anti-angiogenesis drugs, and laser therapy.
Save Your Eyesight by Scheduling Routine Eye Exams
At Grand Rapids Ophthalmology, our eye doctors diagnose and treat a wide variety of eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration. It is imperative to see your ophthalmologist immediately if you’re experiencing symptoms of AMD.
If your eye exam is overdue or you want to start seeing an ophthalmologist, there is no better time than right now.