February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month, and to honour this, we are highlighting some of the symptoms of AMD to watch out for and the ways in which our Calgary optometrists can help protect you from vision loss.
Age-related macular degeneration is an ocular condition that involves the deterioration of the macula, the small central area of the retina that controls visual acuity.
This condition affects the health of your macula and your central vision, making it more difficult to drive, watch television, read, and recognize faces, therefore making it harder to perform daily activities.
Some of the risk factors associated with AMD include:
- Whether you have other eye conditions
- Gender (women are more likely to be affected than men)
- Whether you have any system diseases, such as cardiovascular disease
Our Calgary Optometrists Can Diagnose AMD and Help Keep Your Vision Clear
Early detection of AMD is key because there are treatments and therapies available that can decrease the severity of the disease. At our Calgary eye clinic, our highly trained optometrists can perform comprehensive eye exams and other tests to diagnose this condition early on and provide treatment options to protect your eye health and vision.
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Early Signs of AMD: What to Watch Out For
If you are in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration, you may not experience any symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to visit your optometrist regularly for eye exams, especially if you’re at risk of this eye disease due to family history, lifestyle factors, or age.
During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist can look at the back of your eye and identify early symptoms which you are not able to detect.
Noticeable Symptoms of AMD
- Visual distortion, where straight lines appear wavy or bent
- Difficulty reading or performing other activities that require fine vision
- Difficulty distinguishing faces
- Dark patches at the centre of your vision
- Increased need for illumination
- Decreased night vision
- Poor colour sensitivity
- Sensitivity to glare
NEVER Ignore Changes to Your Vision
If you have been noticing some changes to your vision, you should NEVER ignore them or attribute them to just a part of getting older. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then its important to arrange an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible.
Early Detection is Key To Save Sight
For both wet and dry macular degeneration, the earlier the diagnosis is made, the earlier steps can be taken to slow the disease’s progression. Conversely, delayed treatment increases the likelihood of losing sight.
How is AMD Treated?
Dry AMD can be treated with vitamin supplements and lifestyle modifications, such as quitting smoking, increase in exercise, and wearing sunglasses. Treatments for Wet AMD are designed to stop abnormal blood vessel grown and include the use of FDA approved drugs such as Lucentis, Eylea, Macugen, and Visudyne used with Photodynamic Therapy or PDT.
Enjoy a Lifetime of Healthy and Clear Vision
At My Optometrist, we have 3 eye clinics in Calgary to make access to vision care as convenient and simple as possible! To find out more about how our highly trained optometrists can help diagnose and treat AMD in a timely manner to prevent any loss of vision, you can book an appointment online.
Alternatively, you can contact our clinics at 403-256-0606 (Health First Optometry), 403-291-0923 (Sunridge Vision Centre), or 403-443-2040 (Three Hills Optometry).