AMD Awareness Month

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Raising Red Flags for AMD High Risk Markers

February is AMD Awareness month. Roughly 15 million Americans over the age of 60 suffer from Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Risk factors, such as age and family history are not preventable, but there are some factors that can increase the risk of AMD. Below are some high-risk markers for AMD.

1. Past and Present Smokers- Even if you have quit smoking, you may still be considered high risk for AMD. And if you are still smoking, your risk is significantly higher than non-smokers.
2. Poor Heart Health- Since your vascular system is directly connected to your eyes, if you have poor heart health, your may also have increased risk for AMD.
3. Poor Nutrition and Lack of Exercise– No one is perfect in this category, but if you aren’t confident that your diet and exercise have been up to par over the years, you might want to try to make improvements. A lack of proper nutrients and exercise can increase your risk as well.
4. Lack of Regular Routine Eye Exams- If you’re unaware of a serious disease, it’s impossible to prevent the progression, right? Stay on top of your eye health by going to routine eyes exams and remain up to date.
5. Race- AMD is more prevalent among Caucasians than among African-Americans or Hispanics/Latinos. If you are of Caucasian decent, your risk may be even greater.

Early detection of AMD is important. If detected early enough it can help to slow the progression of the disease before it advances. Some signs and symptoms may include blurry, “smudged” and distorted central vision. If you or someone you know have any symptoms or risk factors, make sure to speak with your eye doctor as soon as possible.