- Patient Resources
February is macular degeneration awareness month and for good reason. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the United States for people over 55 years of age. It affects more than 10 million Americans, with 200,000 people newly diagnosed with this disease each year.
Read on as a Lake Stevens, WA optometrist discusses the different types of macular degeneration, warning signs to watch for, and ways you can help spread the word.
Macular degeneration accounts for more than 50% of all visual impairments among older Americans. It’s a disease that affects the macula, which is a small area near the center of your retina responsible for sharp and detailed central vision. The macula helps us see objects as they are, not just as blobs or shadows.
The most common form of macular degeneration is called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). People who have AMD usually begin seeing changes in their vision after 50 years old but some may develop signs earlier than others depending on their genetic makeup.
Most people with dry AMD do not realize they have it until a regular eye exam shows signs of its progression. The symptoms of dry AMD are typically painless and can develop slowly over time, often beginning with minor changes in central vision.
This condition is more likely to affect people who have a family history of macular degeneration or other eye diseases that affect the retina, such as glaucoma or cataracts. While macular degeneration can be hard to spot, there are a few warning signs you should be aware of:
We know that macular degeneration is a condition that affects millions of Americans and their loved ones, so we wanted to take this opportunity to share some easy ways you can help spread awareness about the disease.
If you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye exam, please feel free to call us, your local Lake Stevens, WA optometry office, anytime!