Maintaining Healthy Vision and Warning Signs of AMD

Maintaining Healthy Vision and Warning Signs of AMD

May marks another Healthy Vision Month and it’s important that we recognize the importance of maintaining healthy vision and identifying warning signs of AMD.

AMD, or Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of reduced eyesight among those ages 50 or older and can worsen over time. Although it is quite common with 1 in 10 people in the US affected by the condition, it’s still incredibly important to schedule regular eye exams to stay on top of changes in eyesight and keep an eye out for the warning signs.

Doctors are not yet sure why some people get AMD and others do not, often equating it to genes and the environment. Still, there are ways that you can better care for your eyes and find out early! 

How Can You Take Care of Your Eyes? 

Always ensure that you have regular eye exams. Doctors can dilate your eyes during these exams and check for age-related macular degeneration. These are imperative for identifying AMD early on and keeping your eyes as healthy as possible.  

During these tests, your doctor may have you look at a checker-board-like design called an Amsler grid to see if any of the lines appear wavy on your end. An OCT may also be administered to show fluid or blood beneath the retina. Early treatment can help treat the condition and even make it less severe. 

While ensuring you go to regular eye exams, things like eating well (especially green, leafy foods!), taking nutritional supplements, and avoiding smoking all can assist in maintaining healthy vision. These will not prevent AMD but will support your eye health in addition to regular eye appointments.

Warning Signs of AMD

In the early stages of AMD there are no symptoms of the eye disease. Still, there are ways to know when you may have AMD if you have not yet had an eye doctor confirm it. 

  • Central Vision Blurriness - This can start with spots and then spread to one full eye, or both. 
  • Trouble Seeing in Low Light - This can worsen with time and be very subtle at first. 
  • Straight Lines Begin to Blur - There is a test that can be administered online or by yourself to test. 
  • Seeing Blank Spots - These may also grow in size as time goes by. 
  • Colors May Seem Less Bright - Colors may appear muted or blended.
  • Difficulty Recognizing Faces - General fuzziness of faces, especially up close. 

If you have any of these symptoms it’s important to contact your eye doctor as soon as possible. Remember, this is an extremely common occurrence and as long as you continue to have regular eye appointments, it can be found at an early stage. 

Thankfully, even if you have late-stage AMD, there are ways you can be helped! There are vision rehabilitation programs and even low-vision devices that might make life easier. Our eyes are something to be cared for just like the rest of our bodies so be sure to make an appointment soon to check in about your eye health.