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Adaptations for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Thursday, October 3, 2013 @ 07:10 AM
Author: Jason Lau

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is known as a disease that affects the elderly. A damaged retina is a major cause of vision loss in people over 50. The macula is the center of the retina. When it is clouded with cellular debris, the retina becomes detached and the blood vessels are damaged.

The first symptom of AMD is yellow spotting. Even though it doesn’t usually cause blindness on it’s own, it can lead to poor vision. As it advances, the following symptoms may also occur:

  • Color changes
  • Vision loss
  • Impaired side vision
  • Shadows
  • Trouble going from extreme difference in light and dark environments
  • Less contrast
  • Wavy images

Though aging is the main cause of AMD, there are other risk factors that can determine who will be affected by it:

  • Genetics
  • Race
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High fat diet
  • Stress
  • Sun exposure
  • Smoking

The most popular treatment method for AMD is the use of FDA approved antiangiogenic drugs. Taking supplements and making lifestyle changes can also help. Lutien and omega-3 fatty acids are helpful, as well as following a heart-healthy diet with less fat and more fish. Furthermore, losing weight and stop smoking can reduce risk factors.

Some simple adjustments can make living with AMD bearable. Getting regular eye exams and updating glasses or contacts can help. As for everyday living, try using a bright light for detailed work, large-print or audio books, a larger computer font, and using a magnifier.

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