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February Is Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

February 1 2023

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. 

What Is Macular Degeneration?

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.

Warning Signs of Macular Degeneration

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:

  • Blind spots in your vision
  • Frequent changes in vision (e.g., blurriness)
  • Double vision  
  • A blind spot in the center of your vision
  • Floaters (e.g., spots or threads floating across your vision) 
  • Flashes of light
  • Eye pain 
  • A feeling that something is in your eye 
  • Squiggly lines or wavy patterns that move across your field of vision 
  • Seeing halos around lights

How You Can Help Spread the Word

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.

  • Sharing a post on social media about macular degeneration
  • Making an appointment with your eye doctor for a comprehensive dilated eye exam
  • Encouraging friends and family members to get their eyes checked regularly

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!

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Grandview Optometry


16616 Twin Lakes Ave
Marysville, WA 98271
(Inside Marysville/Smokey Point Costco)


Monday-Friday: 10:00am-6:30pm
Saturday:  9:30am-5:00pm
Sunday: Closed

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