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Posted on 06-13-2017

AMD Awareness Month

For most people, February is a month devoted primarily towards waiting for spring to start. But for our doctors, it has another significance – February is National Age-Related Macular Awareness, or AMD, Month. While you may have never heard of AMD, it’s an important thing to be aware of – it’s a degenerative eye disorder that will affect some 3 million people by 2020. The key to fighting macular degeneration is education, so for this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about AMD and how to watch out for it in yourself and your loved ones.

What Is AMD?

Age-Related Macular Degeneration is a chronic, progressive eye disease affecting the macula – the portion of the eye where vision is sharpest. It’s a leading cause of blindness in adults, and, if not caught early, can cause devastating, permanent vision loss. Although AMD primarily affects older individuals, the disease often begins much earlier in life, which is why it’s important to be on the lookout as early as possible.

How Can I Detect AMD?

There are a number of symptoms characteristic of AMD, including:

  • A blurred/blind spot in the center of your vision
  • Requiring more light for reading
  • Difficulty seeing in low light
  • Colors not seeming as bright
  • Overall vision is hazy

Although there is no known cause for AMD, there are a number of risk factors:

  • Family history of macular degeneration
  • Smoking
  • High Cholesterol
  • Sun exposure

If any of these apply to you, visit an optometrist to discuss whether you may be suffering from AMD.

How Can I Prevent AMD?

Your macula contains an important protective substance known as macula pigment (MP), which is composed of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin. The first two are obtained from diet and found in corn, squash, broccoli, and leafy green veggies like spinach and kale – so load up! The best way to keep tabs on your potential for AMD, however, is to have a visit with a licensed optometrist.

Schedule An Appointment With Your Eureka Optometrist

If you’re concerned you may be suffering from AMD or just want to schedule a check-up (which we highly recommend), feel free to contact us at our Arcata, CA office. Keep those eyes healthy, and remember to check back to this blog periodically – we’ll be updating it with helpful news and information to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear.

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I moved to the SF Bay Area 7 years ago which sent me to find a new optometrist. After several tries (in different cities) none were as good as the A-Z eye care. I am lucky to have family in Arcata that I visit and continue visiting this office. Their equipment, attention to detail, large selection of glasses, professionalism of all the staff, and, most importantly, the optometrists’ knowledge and information shared during my appointments are superb! I’ve been a client for over 14 years!

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