Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month
Have you ever wondered what your eye doctor is looking for during an eye examination?
Your vision seems fine, you may not need glasses or perhaps your prescription hasn’t changed. But an eye examination is more than just prescribing glasses and contacts – it’s about checking the health of your eyes.
This month, we are taking a moment to increase awareness about Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a disease that an estimated 15 million Americans have. Unfortunately, most won’t know they have it until they begin to suffer vision loss. During your annual eye examination, your optometrist might observe signs that you have AMD. Additional testing like the Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and Optomap plus give your eye doctor the necessary images to determine if you have AMD. Once diagnosed, necessary steps can be taken to help preserve your vision.
The American Society of Retina Specialists explains how AMD occurs:
“During normal aging, yellowish deposits, called drusen, form under the retina, which is the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye that provides clear, sharp images. As drusen increase in size and number, they can interfere with proper functioning of the retina, damaging or killing the light-sensitive cells of the macula.
Because the macula’s light-sensitive cells provide the ability to have sharp, detailed vision, the results can be blurring of central vision and a devastating impact on the ability to enjoy activities of daily life, such as reading, driving, or even recognizing the face of a friend or family member.
This form of Age-related Macular Degeneration is called dry AMD. Dry AMD can be a precursor to wet AMD.”
In this image, you can see the difference between a normal eye, and an eye that has been affected by AMD (notice the tiny yellow dots – drusen).
The earliest signs of AMD can be detected during a comprehensive eye before any vision loss has occurred.
Make a habit of wearing polarized sunglasses which helps block harmful blue-light rays that can affect the health of your eye, and get your eyes examined every year. A yearly comprehensive eye exam is the best way to detect AMD before any lasting damage is done.
Here at Vision Source, our optometrists give thorough comprehensive eye examinations and have the advanced imaging technology necessary to diagnose AMD. If any of our patients develop macular degeneration significant enough to require advanced treatment, we partner with the best retinal specialists to give you the eye care you need and deserve.
Thank you for trusting us with your eyes. We will continue to do our best to provide the highest quality eye care to our patients.