Age Related Macular Degeneration, AMD, is the leading cause of sight loss in people over 50.
A combination of lifestyle and genetic risk factors lead to AMD.
The macula is the most sensitive part of the eye and is hugely important in how we see. You are using your macula now reading this, with AMD this type would be a bit blurry at best and could be totally missing. If you were to draw a black spot on your glasses, right where you are looking though them to read then that will give you some idea of what AMD would be like. There are two types of AMD, wet and dry. The common type is dry, with progression that can be slow. Wet AMD can happen more suddenly and lead to complete central vision loss. Immediate attention will help resolve things before they get too bad. Any kind of sight loss is quite scary and can be debilitating but the purpose of this article is to remind people that they need to be taking steps now to prevent vision loss. Glasses will not help AMD.
– Things to you can do to help lower your risk of AMD:
Don’t smoke, or quit smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration.
Eat a healthy diet with lots of fresh vegetables especially leafy greens such as cabbage, spinach and broccoli (lettuce is nutritionally very poor so it doesn't count).
Download this receipe booklet http://www.amd.ie/downloads/2
Limit your alcohol consumption, no more than a unit a day.
Get regular exercise.
Go for your routine eye exam. Early AMD can be detected and treatments may be prescribed to help prevent further damage in certain cases.
As part of the national initiative between the Association of Optometrists Ireland, Fighting blindness, NCBI, The Irish College of Ophthalmologists and Novartis Ireland, free wet AMD screenings are being offered around the country during AMD awareness week which runs from September 10th - September 16th. You can find out more here: http://www.amd.ie
We are offering the free screening for AMD this week.
It’s a 4 minute test and it doesn’t hurt.