Have you ever heard of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Do you know what the main cause of blindness for Americans is?

In the United States, AMD is the main cause of blindness for adults who are 65 years and older. But most people do not know that AMD causes blindness or what it even is.

February is age-related macular degeneration awareness month. The month is dedicated to bringing attention to this condition. Keep reading to learn more about age-related macular degeneration!

What is AMD?

AMD or macular degeneration is a condition that affects your retina. When a part of the retina, called the macula, becomes damaged, it results in AMD.

The damage can be the macula breaking down or the macula decaying. The macula is an important part of the eye.

It is the part of the retina that helps you see small details and complete different activities. For example, you need your macula to be able to read or drive.

How do you know you have AMD?

AMD has many signs and symptoms. Symptoms can include seeing dark spots, cloudy vision, and not being able to see clearly using central vision.

AMD affects your ability to see close up, far away or many distances at once. Also, it makes it challenging to do different activities.

If you have AMD, it is possible that you will never be able to drive, read, or thread a needle again.

Also, AMD does not impact your peripheral vision. AMD only affects your central vision.

For example, you could look at a painting to your right, but not see the painting straight ahead. Did you know that over one million Americans have AMD?

For adults 65 and older, it is the leading cause of blindness. If you have a more advanced case of AMD, you can still live your life. The majority of patients only have small effects from AMD.

How do you prevent AMD?

The best way to prevent AMD is to get regular eye exams. Diagnosing AMD early on is key to saving your vision and to stop it from advancing.

If AMD is not detected in the beginning stages, it is harder to save your remaining vision. Also, it is harder to stop you from losing your vision and going blind.

There are two types of eye exams. The first is a comprehensive eye exam or a vision test. To check for different eye conditions, you need to get a comprehensive eye exam.

Your doctor will dilate your eyes and be able to clearly see all the parts of your eye and notice any changes. Also, they will review your medical history, do a vision test, check your vision and eye health.

Is there a cure for AMD?

No, there is no cure for AMD. But new treatments have recently been developed. These treatments make it easier for patients to live with AMD and prevent them from going blind.

Do you need to have an eye exam? Schedule one at Riverside Eye Center in Auburn, ME and make your eye health a priority! It’s never too late to start!