Facts About Macular Degeneration That May Surprise You

Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a breakdown of the macula that causes central vision to blur. While AMD does not lead to complete blindness, it can cause difficulty when driving, reading or recognizing faces, since these visual tasks require good central vision.

Though AMD is very common, there is so much to learn about the disease. Read on as Dr. Raymond Stein of Bochner Eye Institute reveals some facts about AMD that may surprise you.

There are two forms: wet and dry.

Dry macular degeneration is the earlier form of the disease, characterized by the development of waste deposits under the retina called drusen. Not all cases of dry AMD advance to wet AMD, in which abnormal blood vessels form and leak blood and fluid under the retina. Although wet AMD is less common, it is associated with more rapid declines in vision than dry AMD.

If a family member had AMD, you are more likely to get it.

There is a genetic factor to AMD. If one of your family members has a history of AMD, you are at a higher risk than those without a family history of the disease. If you are Caucasian, you are more likely to get AMD than individuals of other races.

Smoking is a modifiable risk factor.

Unlike race or family history, some risk factors for AMD are modifiable. Quitting smoking (or never starting) is an important way to reduce the risk of developing AMD.

Getting certain nutrients may slow the progression of the disease.

Research shows that consuming certain vitamins and minerals may slow the progression of dry AMD. Lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E and zinc are particularly helpful for reducing the risk of wet AMD. You can get most of these nutrients by eating a well-balanced, healthy diet or by taking a supplement specifically designed for ocular health.

Corneal laser treatment can improve vision in individuals with AMD.

If you have limited vision due to AMD, Bochner Eye Institute can help. We are currently the only provider in the world to offer a breakthrough laser treatment for AMD. By using a laser to reshape the cornea, we can redistribute light entering the eye to functional areas of the retina. We have seen outstanding improvements in both near and distance vision, and our patients tell us treatment vastly improves their quality of life.

Bochner Eye Institute is committed to educating our patients about the prevention and treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Please call or email our team with any questions.