The Scoop on Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The Scoop on Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration occurs when the eye’s macula deteriorates and breaks down, which is a natural result of the aging process. Without a fully functioning macula (the part of the eye responsible for central vision), a person experiences difficulty focusing on small details and visualizing objects straight ahead.  According to medical research, age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over the age of 50. While ARMD is not completely preventable, there are certain risk factors that increase the chance of developing the eye condition. The following information will highlight a few key risk factors of ARMD, as well as treatment options for those already suffering from it.

Risk Factors

The most obvious risk factor for ARMD is age, hence the name age-related macular degeneration. After analyzing the condition closely, medical researchers have noted that the disease most often develops in people over age 60, though it can happen earlier in some instances. Though there is no way to completely prevent ARMD, there are some lifestyle choices you can make to dramatically decrease your risk, including avoiding smoking, exercising regularly, eating green leafy vegetables and fish, and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels down.  Even if you follow these helpful guidelines, you still may be affected by ARMD. Common risk factors include smoking, race, and family history. You’re more likely to suffer from ARMD if you’re Caucasian, smoke regularly, and have a history of ARMD in your family.

Treatment Options for ARMD

ARMD is more dangerous than other eye conditions because it progresses slowly without any noticeable symptoms. Because it’s so difficult to detect, it’s extremely important to schedule regular checkups with a retinal specialist in Chicago. After scheduling an appointment, a Chicago retinal specialist will be able to test your visual acuity, perform a dilated eye exam, and conduct other tests to check for signs of ARMD. During the evaluation, your Chicago retinal specialist will look for clear signs of ARMD development, including drusen (yellow deposits that form under the retina), as well as any pigment changes under the retina. Depending on the stage and severity of the ARMD, the retinal specialist may suggest a specific type of treatment, including injections, photodynamic therapy, or even laser surgery. For more information on treatment options, contact a retinal specialist in the Chicago area.

Retinal Specialist Chicago

If you’re looking for the most trusted, qualified retinal specialist Chicago has to offer, contact Dr. Grant today. He can conduct a thorough eye exam and help you with prevention and treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Contact our clinic today for more information.