December 20, 2016

Can Age-related Vision Loss be Unnatural?

person-1615692_1920As you age, it is natural to experience a decline in the performance of your vision. Some changes in eyesight are normal, such as presbyopia (blurriness when reading or at the computer) and cataracts, but it is vital that these problems are not mistaken with abnormalities with the eye. There needs to be an increase in attention to vision care as the eye continues to change. Being knowledgeable about issues that are seen as abnormalities is the first step to caring for your vision. An example of an age-related vision issue is macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye condition that affects many people over the age of 50. It concerns the small spot near the center of the retina and the part of the eye need for the sharp, central vision that allows the eye to see straight ahead. AMD advances quite slowly and vision loss does not occur suddenly, so it is not an obvious change. Only late stage AMD results in damage to the macula, a region made of millions of light-sensing cells that provide central vision. Damage to the macula results in sight that is blurry, distorted, or dark. Typically the symptom of blurred vision occurs in the intermediate stage, so it is essential to notify a doctor before the condition advances. If detected sooner, an increase in certain vitamins and minerals can slow down the degenerative process.

Aside from age, there are other risk factors for AMD. Ethnicity, family history and genetics contribute to the risk of AMD. The main lifestyle choices that can be changed to avoid this condition are reducing smoking, maintaining a healthy diet, and keeping a consistent workout schedule.

Sources:

Facts about Age-Related Macular Degeneration. National Eye Institute. Retrieved from: https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts

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