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One of the leading causes of vision loss in people who are age 50 or older is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This common eye condition leads to damage of a small spot near the center of the retina called the macula. The macula provides us with the ability to clearly see objects that are straight ahead.
AMD may progress very slowly, with vision loss taking a long time to occur. In some people, though, the disease may advance more quickly. It can affect one or both eyes. Some treatment options are available for later stages of AMD.
One of the first symptoms of AMD is a blurry area in the center of your field of vision. Over time, this blurred region may increase in size. You may also develop blank spots near the center of your vision. In addition, objects may not be as bright as they once were.
AMD does not lead to complete loss of vision. However, the central vision that is affected by AMD is needed for many everyday activities, such as being able to read, write, recognize faces of other people, drive a car, cook or fix things around the house.
One of the main risk factors for AMD is being over 60 years old; although, this condition can happen in younger people. Other risk factors for AMD include:
Certain healthy lifestyle choices may slow the progression of AMD or reduce your risk of developing it, including:
Research has found that high doses of certain vitamins and minerals may slow the advance of this disease. This includes vitamins C and E, zinc, copper and beta-carotene (and perhaps lutein and zeaxanthin).
These will not help you if you have early-stage AMD. They may, though, slow vision loss in the later stages. To find out if nutritional supplements are right for you, please call Hillcrest Mayfield Eye Associates at 440-442-4330. Or visit Hillcrest Mayfield Eye Associates located at 6770 Mayfield Road Suite 338, Mayfield Heights, OH
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