Are You at Risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

March 3, 2012

The Journal of American Ophthalmology explains the risk factors for Macular Degeneration.

Knowing the risk factors, being aware of family history, and keeping regular appointments with an Eye M.D. can help reduce the risks for vision loss from macular degeneration. In its most severe form, known as wet AMD, the disease can lead to permanent loss of central vision which is essential for driving, reading, and recognizing faces.

“The past few years have been marked by significant improvement in understanding the causes and the treatment of AMD,” says George Williams, MD, an AMD expert. “New research and clinical advances are helping us to better treat both the ‘dry’ AMD and ‘wet’ forms of AMD. One strong risk factor that people may not be aware of is family history. It’s important to find out whether your relatives have had AMD, and to tell your Eye M.D., if you have a history of AMD in your family. Knowing your risks can save your sight.”

Here are the top 5 risk factors for AMD:

  • Being over the age of 60
  • Having a family history of AMD
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension

People with any two of these risk factors should schedule an appointment for a complete evaluation with an Eye M.D., who may recommend certain preventive measures which can reduce the risk of vision loss from this disorder.

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