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Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Slight vision changes are a common part of the ageing process. Age-related macular degeneration, however, can lead to significant vision changes and vision loss. Often shortened to AMD, age-related macular degeneration is happens when the macula deteriorates. The macula is located in the center of the retina and is responsible for visual acuity, or detail vision.

Typically, most AMD cases affect people over age 50. For Americans over the age of 65, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss. AMD is one of the reasons why annual eye exams are so important, especially past age 65.

Types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Most AMD cases are dry AMD. It’s the more common form of AMD, accounting for 90% of cases. Dry AMD is typically less severe and is only attributed to 10% to 20% of AMD cases that lead to significant vision loss. It is still important that dry AMD is diagnosed and managed early, however, as it can progress into the more serious type of AMD, known as wet AMD.

Wet AMD is much more severe than dry AMD, but much less common. Wet AMD only affects 10% of patients with AMD, but it’s responsible for 80% to 90% of AMD cases that result in vision loss. This type of AMD occurs when abnormal vessels grow in the retina. The abnormal vessels leak fluid and blood into the macula, causing blurred and distorted vision as the fluid collects.

How We Diagnose & Manage AMD

Annual Eye Exams

Regular eye exams once per year are the best way to detect AMD early and protect your sight. When you visit the optometrist for regular eye exams, your optometrist can monitor your vision for small changes over time, allowing AMD to be caught as early as possible. If your optometrist is concerned about AMD, they may perform a dilated eye exam to check for the disease.

AMD Risk Factors

During your regular eye exam, your optometrist will assess you for risk factors associated with AMD. Factors they may take into consideration include:

  • Advancing age, especially over age 65
  • Family history of AMD
  • Cardiovascular disease, including hypertension
  • Smoking

Warning Signs of AMD

Blurry vision, distorted vision, and other vision changes can be symptoms of AMD. Because the macula controls visual acuity, many patients experience difficulty seeing detail. This can present as trouble reading, driving, or recognizing faces.

If you notice any changes in your vision, visit your optometrist right away.

Nutritional Supplementation

Nutrition supplementation is a management technique used to help slow the progression of AMD. Research has shown that foods containing carotenoids can help reduce AMD, particularly wet AMD. Carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin act as antioxidants and help to protect the retina. These carotenoids are commonly found in fruits and vegetables, including:

  • Apples
  • Mangoes
  • Kiwis
  • Grapes
  • Pumpkin
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Corn
  • Orange juice

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How to Find Us?

We’re located in Northwest D.C. to care for all your eye health needs.

Our Address

1776 G Street NW, Suite 104
Washington, D.C 20006

Contact Information

Phone: (202) 298-6878

Hours of Operations

Monday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Tuesday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Wednesday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Thursday
9:00am – 5:00pm
Friday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday
8:30am – 1:00pm
Sunday
Closed

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