How Eye Exams Help Prevent Vision Loss From AMD

eye exam calgary

Are you experiencing blurred central vision or difficulty reading? Read about the signs of age-related macular degeneration and why eye exams are crucial for detecting and managing this condition early to prevent vision loss. 


Your eyes are one of the most sensitive organs in your body and they need proper care to prevent any problems or abnormalities. Whether or not you wear spectacles/contact lenses, there are a number of ways you can protect your vision, including:

  • having regular eye exams
  • following a healthy lifestyle
  • being aware of your family’s history of eye conditions
  • Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays
  • using protective eyewear when playing sports or other activities

Want to know more?

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What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that causes the gradual loss of sight due to blurring or loss of central vision. This is caused by a deterioration of the macula, a yellow pigmented structure at the back of the eye that is responsible for detailed colour vision.

Quick Facts

  • The severity of AMD depends on each individual.
  • How it affects your vision depends on how quickly it is detected through an eye exam.
  • AMD is a chronic disease - it cannot be cured, but it can be managed and vision loss can be prevented.
  • Early detection is important to potentially stop the spread of disease and protect your sight.

What are the 2 Types of AMD?

There are two types of age-related AMD: wet and dry. The wet form is more severe and vision degenerates more rapidly, but this form is less common.

  • Wet AMD: With Wet AMD, is a condition in which new blood vessels grow in the choroid layer behind the retina. The new vessels are weak and leak fluid and blood which can get into the layers of the retina, including the layers of the macula, and cause scar tissue to form and retinal cells to stop functioning.

  • Dry AMD: About 90 percent of people with AMD have the dry form, a condition in which layers of the macula get progressively thinner, functioning less and less as they do. In advanced stages, patients may have blind spots in their central vision.

Learn More About AMD

 

Signs and Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

In the early stages, macular degeneration may not display any symptoms and may not be noticeable until it progresses or affects both eyes. Eye exams are often crucial for early detection and prevention of vision loss.

The first sign of macular degeneration is usually blurred vision with a dim, blurry spot in the centre of your vision. This spot may get bigger or darker over time.

Symptoms of macular degeneration include:

  • dark, blurry areas in the centre of vision
  • diminished or changed colour perception
  • difficulty doing everyday activities such as reading and watching television
  • difficulty recognizing faces
  • straight lines (eg. door frames or steps) appear distorted

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should visit your local optometrist for an eye exam as soon as possible.

 

What are the Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration?

As the name suggests, age-related macular degeneration is more common in older adults. In fact, it is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over the age of 60. AMD can also be hereditary so if someone in your family has the condition, you may be at a higher risk of developing it.

Other risk factors include:

  • smoking
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • obesity
  • having light eye colour

Remember, in the early stages, AMD is most likely to be detected through an eye exam, so if you do have any of the risk factors, it’s important to schedule regular check-ups with your optometrist.

 

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Comprehensive Eye Exams in Calgary

At Sunridge Eye Clinic, our qualified Calgary eye doctors are passionate about protecting the eye health of you and your whole family. Whether you require an eye exam, the latest eyeglasses, contact lens fitting, or dry eye care, we provide comprehensive services to fit all your needs.

To find out more about our comprehensive vision services including eye exams, glaucoma testing, and AMD management, contact our Calgary optometrists today at 403-280-7518 or use our online contact form.


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