Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye disease, which affects somewhere between 2 and 15 million Americans.  Worldwide it affects somewhere between 30 and 50 million people, making it larger than the combined instances of Alzheimer’s and all cancers combined.

The risk factors include:

  1. Exposure to blue light from natural (sun) and artificial (LED, computer, TV) light sources
  2. Genetics (A family history- there are at least 20 genes that can affect one’s risk of getting AMD)
  3. Race (More common in Caucasians)
  4. Smoking

Preventative measures that can be taken:

  1. Avoid exposure to blue light or wear blue light filtering glasses
  2. Eat a health diet, rich in green vegetables
  3. Take carotenoid supplements to maintain macular health
  4. Maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  5. Avoid smoking

Late stage AMD is divided into two categories (although it should be noted that both can occur):

  1. Geographic atrophy (Dry AMD)- The gradual breakdown of cells in the macula, leading to vision loss.
  2. Neovascular AMD (Wet AMD)- Abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina. These vessels leak fluid nd blood, which may damage the macula. This version of AMD can onset more rapidly and severely.

More coming soon…