Monday, February 2, 2015

Know Your Macular Degeneration Risk Factors

Knowing the risk factors associated with age related macular degeneration (AMD) is important information for seniors as this eye diseases is a leading cause of severe vision loss among Americans ages 65 and over. Besides knowing your risk factors for AMD it is also important to be aware of your family history as well as scheduling regular eye exam appointments, as these simple steps can help reduce your risks for vision loss from macular degeneration. The key to preventing vision loss from age related macular degeneration is early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

Top AMD Risks
Ø  Being over the Age of 60
Ø  Having a Family History of AMD
Ø  Cigarette Smoking
Ø  Obesity
Ø  Hypertension
Tyler Hall, M.D.

If you have any two of these risk factors, and you have not already done so, you should schedule an appointment for a complete eye exam and evaluation. We may recommend certain preventive measures which can reduce your risk of vision loss from this disorder by managing certain lifestyle and health related choices you can make.

Some AMD risks can be managed by changing certain lifestyle habits such as stopping smoking, eating a low fat diet rich in green leafy vegetables and reducing alcohol consumption, whereas others such as genetic factors cannot be changed. However, knowing your family medical history is one way to learn whether you may be genetically predisposed to a disease. One way to reduce AMD risk is to quit smoking or never start. For patients at high risk for developing late stage AMD, taking a dietary supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, has been shown to lower the risk of AMD advancing to advanced stages by 25 percent.

Anyone at risk for AMD should become familiar with the symptoms of Wet AMD as Wet AMD is the form most likely to cause rapid, serious and potentially catastrophic vision loss. With early detection, diagnosis and treatment it is often possible to avoid or minimize vision loss from Wet AMD.

Symptoms of AMD can include sudden, noticeable loss or distortion of vision, such as seeing “wavy” lines, “distortion”, “bending of straight lines and objects” or even a “distortion of people’s faces” or “a dark or black spot in the center of vision”. If you experience any of these symptoms, please call Alabama Eye & cataract Center right away, explain your symptoms and request an immediate appointment. Current treatments for Wet AMD such as Lucentis® Injections and Eylea® Injections provide an excellent chance of stopping vision loss and may actually restore some vision when macular degeneration develops. The earlier we diagnose Wet AMD, the better our chance of offering you a successful treatment.

If you or someone you know is concerned about senior eye problems such as age related macular degeneration (AMD), or has known risk factors for macular degeneration, please schedule an eye examination at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham by calling 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham is leading eye care center located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine Ophthalmologists Marc Michelson, M.D. and Tyler Hall, M.D.