Be Aware of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Saving Your Sight with Glenn K. Davis, II, MD

This February, Glenn K. Davis, II, MD shares awareness of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). It is a leading cause of blindness for people over age 50. AMD affects about 2.1 million people nationwide, which makes early diagnosis and treatment important in preventing vision loss. Dr. Davis joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in sharing facts you need about AMD.

Similar to glaucoma that we discussed last month, age-related macular degeneration occurs with few warning signs. As with any medical disease, early discovery can bring greater success with treatment. This makes receiving comprehensive medical eye exams an important way to find AMD in its earliest stages.


Begin With Comprehensive Medical Eye Exams

The AAO recommends adults with no signs or risk factors get a baseline eye disease screening at age 40. As an ophthalmologist, Dr. Davis provides comprehensive eye exams to detect early signs of disease and changes in vision. By age 65, the AAO recommends an exam every one to two years, even without symptoms or eye problems.

We cannot stress enough the importance of a thorough medical eye exam to uncover the earliest changes in the eye. Beyond early detection, routine eye exams can help you and the doctor track small changes that occur over time.


Tackling AMD With Healthier Lifestyle Choices

Studies show the importance of healthier lifestyle choices in reducing the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. These healthier choices involve four main areas where patients can take direct charge in tackling the risk of AMD. Consider the following:

Quitting Smoking: People who smoke are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration than nonsmokers. Studies show smoking increases risk, as well as how fast the disease progresses. Be sure to let Dr. Davis know your smoking history, and if you do smoke, consider quitting.


Additional Healthy Lifestyle Options

Eating a Well-Balanced Diet: Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and nutrient-packed foods, such as salmon and nuts, may reduce AMD risk. Research also suggests that patients who ate fresh fish, an important source of omega-3s, lowered their risk of developing AMD.

Taking the Right Type and Amount of Vitamins: Some top-selling supplements do not contain identical ingredient dosages to eye vitamin formulas proven effective in clinical trials. Vitamins can delay progression of advanced AMD and help people keep their vision longer. Review this with Dr. Davis to ensure that you take the right kind of vitamins for your eye health.

Regular Exercise: Exercising three times a week helps reduce the risk of developing wet AMD by 70 percent. Studies show that physical activity may lower the odds of both early and late stages of AMD. Regular exercise is generally a good step to better overall health.


Seeing and Knowing Your Own AMD Factors

Another key to AMD awareness is knowing your own family’s eye health history. Did you know having a close relative with AMD can mean a 50-percent greater chance of developing the condition? Those with close ties to others with AMD may require more frequent eye exams.

Another way to be aware of vision issues related to age-related macular degeneration is to use an Amsler grid. This simple, daily routine takes less than one minute and can help people with AMD save more of their vision. Using this grid is essential to finding any vision changes that are not obvious, so you can report them to your ophthalmologist.


Age-Related Macular Degeneration is a Chronic Health Issue

We end our look at age-related macular degeneration by acknowledging it as a chronic health issue. Knowing the importance of family ties means sharing awareness, asking questions, and having a dialogue about eye health. Reducing your risk of AMD is possible, and having a chronic health issue includes regular treatment and management.

Speak with Glenn K. Davis, II, MD at our offices in Pulaski and Galax, VA. Discuss any questions or concerns you have about age-related macular degeneration or other eye problems.


For excellence in eye care, schedule your appointment with Glenn K. Davis, II, MD, today. Call our offices in Pulaski, (540) 980-1965, or Galax, (276) 236-8307. Stay in touch by liking us on Facebook for updates on eye health and more on age-related macular degeneration.