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Frequently Asked Questions About AMD
Q: What is AMD?
A: Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the slow but steady loss of function and ability to see in the center field of our vision. This condition can affect one or both eyes. It is estimated that more than 17 million people in the United States have some form of macular degeneration – it is the number one cause of blindness for people over the age of 55 in the United States . It is also estimated that more than 500,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Learn more about AMD.
Q: Who is at risk for AMD?
A:AMD can occur during middle age. The risk increases with aging. Learn more about the risk factors for developing the disease, as well as important nutritional interventions that can decrease your risk of developing this condition.
Q: How do I know if I have it?
A: Your eye doctor can examine and test you for macular degeneration. He can also offer you a wealth of information and support. Be sure to get regular eye examinations, so your eye doctor can test your eyes and determine if you are at risk for, or have, macular degeneration. The earlier this condition is diagnosed, the greater the opportunity for intervention. Learn more about detecting macular degeneration.
Q: What is the difference between the dry and wet forms?
A: AMD occurs in two forms: wet and dry. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula. These new blood vessels tend to be very fragile, and often leak fluid. The fluid raises the macula from its normal place at the back of the eye and damage to the macula occurs rapidly.
Dry AMD occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down and die, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye. Over time, as less of the macula functions, central vision in the affected eye can be lost gradually.
Q: What can I do to prevent it?
A: Protecting your vision depends on some simple guidelines:
- Visit your eye care professional for regular examinations to changes in visual function and any pathological change, at the earliest possible stage.
- Eat a healthy diet, including five servings of fruits and vegetables every day
- If you smoke, quit now!
- Protect your eyes from sunlight, using sunglasses and a hat
- Depending on your current eye health, include EyePromise Restore or EyePromise 10mg in your daily nutritional regimen
Q: Where can I find more information about it?
A: There are a number of online resources that can help you dig deeper and learn more about macular degeneration, including these very helpful web sites:
- American Academy of Ophthalmology
- Association for Macular Diseases
- Foundation for Fighting Blindness
- Macula Vision Research Foundation
- Macular Degeneration Foundation
- Macular Degeneration Network
- Macular Degeneration Partnership
- National Eye Institute
Q: Can AMD be cured?
A: There is no cure for AMD. The National Eye Institute is conducting and supporting a number of studies to learn more about AMD. For example, scientists are:
Studying the possibility of transplanting healthy cells into a diseased retina.
Evaluating families with a history of AMD to understand genetic and hereditary factors that may cause the disease.
Looking at certain anti-inflammatory treatments for the wet form of AMD.
This research should provide better ways to detect, treat and prevent vision loss in people with AMD. In the meantime, there are important nutritional interventions that may decrease your risk of developing this condition.