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What is Age Related Macular Degeneration?

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Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that affects “Macula” which is a tiny part of the retina situated at the back of the eye.

Age Related Macular Degeneration is a major cause of visual impairment in adults over 50 years of age. The condition does not result in total loss of sight but affects the central vision, whist the sufferer still has enough peripheral vision to carry on routine activities of daily life. Since the macula is the central area of the retina that helps with the central vision, people suffering from Age Related Macular Degeneration experience problem while looking directly at something, for instance, faces, photographs or watching television. Below is an example of how AMD would affect vision,

Below are two versions of an image to help you understand how AMD affects the vision, the first image is what someone with a normal eye sight would see, and the second image is an example of how a person affected with AMD will see it,

 There are types of AMD like wet AMD & Dry AMD which can be caused because of various factors like, Age- AMD usually affects adults over the age of 50, Genes – It could be genetic, Smoking – research indicates, stopping to smoke, greatly reduces the risk of developing AMD and many other factors like Hypertension, Stress, Exposure to sunlight etc.

Symptoms of macular degeneration are often unnoticed till it starts affecting both eyes. Some of the symptoms are listed below,

1) Straight lines start to appear distorted

2)Dark blurry patches appear in the centre of vision

3) Diminished or changed color perception

4) Difficulty reading, recognizing people’s faces, driving, looking at small objects and watching television etc

Results from Age-Related Eye conditions research suggests that taking supplements containing high level of antioxidants and zinc can reduce the risk of advanced AMD. There are supplements available, for instance Macushield, which combines powerful antioxidants that help protect eye tissues and is designed to support macular health in later years.

As in many cases, prevention and early diagnosis is very important, so anyone concerned about Age Related Macular Degeneration should visit the local optician and get a complete eye test done for best results.

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