Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a growing concern among older adults, as it is one of the leading causes of blindness in the US. The disease affects the retina’s central portion, known as the macula, causing vision loss and making it difficult to perform daily activities such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces.
AMD typically develops slowly over time, with early symptoms including blurred vision or a gradual reduction in the sharpness of central vision. It is essential to catch the disease in its early stages, as early detection and prompt treatment can significantly slow down the progression of the disease and prevent severe vision loss.
Recent advancements in medical technology have dramatically changed the course of this disease, making it more manageable than ever before. Treatment options for AMD include lifestyle modifications, such as maintaining a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and avoiding smoking, as well as medications and surgery. One of the most significant advances in treating AMD is the use of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) medications, which help to slow down the growth of new blood vessels in the eye and prevent vision loss.
Despite the availability of these treatments, it is essential to remember that early detection is a critical first step. Regular eye exams are crucial in detecting the early signs of AMD and ensuring prompt treatment. During AMD Awareness Month in February, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is reminding people with AMD that they can save their vision thanks to recent treatment advances. Still, early detection is a crucial first step.