Understand AMD and What You Need To Do To Protect Your Eyes
If you are like most people when you think about eye diseases the first two that probably come to mind are cataracts and glaucoma. There is one eye condition that affects more people than cataracts and glaucoma combined. Macular degeneration affects approximately 10 million people in the United States and is the most predominant reason people lose their vision. Here at Montana Eyecare in Helena, our optometrist is actively educating people about the little known disease that steals vision. Here is some more information about macular degeneration.
Two Types of AMD
There are several varieties of macular degeneration, however, the two most common types are wet and dry AMD. The wet variety is also known as exudative and it is responsible for approximately 10 to 15 percent of all cases of AMD. Dry AMD is also known as atrophic and it accounts for 89 to 90 percent of AMD cases. The third type of AMD is genetic, and it is generally found in children. The disease can sneak up on you gradually over time. This is why regular exams with an optometrist are so important. The damage caused by AMD is not reversible and the disease will only get progressively worsen without treatment. There is no known cure for macular degeneration.
Risk Factors and Other Variables
Most people associate macular degeneration with the aging process, but our eye doctors want you to know that the disease can manifest itself at any age. There are several risk factors associated with the disease. People who smoke are two times more likely to develop AMD in their lifetimes. It is important to note that nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it decreases the supply of blood to your eyes. Race is a factor when it comes to AMD, as African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to develop AMD than people who belong to other ethnic groups. Gender also plays a role in the development and onset of AMD. Women in the United States tend to outlive their male counterparts, which makes them more likely to develop the disease.
Let Us Help You Keep Your Eyes Healthy
The entire optometry team here at Montana Eyecare in Helena is dedicated to making sure we do everything we can to help people protect and maintain their vision. Our optometrist recommends people have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. To learn more about macular degeneration and what you can to protect your eyesight, give our off a call at 406-443-2121 today.