Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects the eyes, diminishing the eye’s central vision. This impacts the ability to do things that require looking forward; for instance, driving, reading and using a computer.
AMD mainly affects adults above the age of 60. But people younger still need to watch out for symptoms, as high blood pressure, smoking, and even overexposure to sunlight, can lead to earlier onset.
Get an eye examination by an ophthalmologist if you’re over 50. Talk to your doctor about your family history and other risk factors to make sure you’re not experiencing the beginning of symptoms. Symptoms caused by AMD can come on quickly or slowly, so it’s good to get a regular exam to be safe.
There are some symptoms to keep an eye out for, if you’re in a high-risk age group or if you smoke, have high blood pressure or spend a lot of time outdoors without UV-protective sunglasses. These include: blurry spots in your vision, gray or hazy areas in your vision, and, a very common symptom, straight lines appear wavy.
While there are two different types of AMD, wet and dry, there are some lifestyle changes that can prevent or push back AMD symptoms:
- Keep an eye on your blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is a good idea for many reasons. But if you’re high-risk for AMD, you should pay special attention to your blood pressure.
- Don’t Smoke. Again, there are an enormous number of reasons to quit smoking. But the results of this dangerous habig can be macular degeneration.
- Get plenty of exercise. Keep a regular schedule that keeps you working out regularly.
- Wear UV-protective sunglasses. Ultraviolet rays (UV) are very dangerous for your eyes.
Keep them protected, even on cloudy days.
The number one thing to remember is if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or are over 50, you should get tested and talk to your doctor to determine your risk and prevent or delay the onset of symptoms.