February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

AMD-Awareness-logoAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects part of the back of the eye called the macula, the central part of the retina. This can cause the center part of your vision to become blurry or wavy. It could also cause a blind spot in the center of your vision. According to Prevent Blindness (formerly Prevent Blindness America), over 2 million adults over the age of 50 in the US suffer from AMD,

Fortunately, an AMD diagnosis does not have to signal the end to independence. With some adjustments and a little assistance, AMD can be managed and independence can be maintained for many patients. It is awareness that can make a difference; that is why regular eye exams are so important. Visiting your eye doctor regularly and being mindful of symptoms can help your doctor discover and treat the disease early – a key factor in preserving as much vision as possible.

Education is an important step in fighting Age-Related Macular Degeneration. That’s why February has been deemed National AMD Month. At Hampton Roads Eye Associates it is our goal to educate our patients about the symptoms, risk factors and treatment options for AMD.

The risk factors of AMD include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and smoking, as well as genetic factors such as age, family history and race. Symptoms include blurred vision, blind spots and straight lines appearing wavy.

There are medical, surgical and other treatments for AMD, and our Retinal and Low Vision Specialists are available at Hampton Roads Eye Associates to help you remain independent and maximize your vision. Learn more about the different treatment options for AMD on our website.

The single best thing any of us can do to protect ourselves from the AMD is to have an annual eye exam. If you haven’t already scheduled an exam for 2014, you can do so by calling us at 757.643.8800, or you can schedule an appointment online.