Risk Factors for AMD

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the gradual deterioration of the macula, the portion of the retina responsible for clear central vision. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, AMD is the No. 1 cause of severe vision loss among American adults ages 65 and older, so it is something you should be aware of.

While some of the risk factors for developing the disease are out of your control, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. Read on as Edward Hedaya, MD of InVision Eye Care reveals the top risk factors for AMD.

Age

Age is the primary risk factor for macular degeneration. Being over the age of 60 increases the chances that you will develop AMD.

Genetics

AMD tends to run in families. If you have a parent, sibling or child with AMD, you are at a higher risk than people without any family history of AMD.

Race

Caucasians are more likely to be affected by AMD than African Americans and Hispanics.

Smoking

Cigarette smoking is a top risk factor for AMD. According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, it more than doubles a person’s risk of getting the disease. (Smoking also increases the risk of cataracts, uveitis and diabetic retinopathy.) The more you smoke, the higher your risk.

Overexposure to Sunlight

Some research indicates that overexposure to sunlight may contribute to the development of AMD. However, more research is needed to reach any conclusions.

Regardless, it is still important to protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses that block out harmful rays.

Obesity

Studies show that overweight adults with AMD are more likely to develop advanced forms of the disease than adults of a normal weight. Regular exercise is believed to help reduce the risk of developing advanced forms of AMD.

Preventing Vision Loss to AMD

There has been a vast improvement in the understanding of AMD as well as the available treatments for the disease. Catching AMD in its early stages increases the chances of successfully managing it with medical or surgical solutions and preventing related vision loss.

If you are experiencing a change in your vision as you age, or if you have been diagnosed with AMD, InVision Eye Care can help. Please call or email us today to schedule an appointment with our team.

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