Rancho Santa Fe Optometry

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5 Risk Factors of Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)

Macular Degeneration is a disease caused by deterioration of the central portion of the retina known as the macula. Most Macular Degeneration is age related (ARMD)– the older you get the more likely it is to affect you. It is categorized into two types: wet (exudative) and dry (atrophic). The most common (85% of cases) and less sight threatening is the dry. A study called the Age Related Eye Disease Study II (AREDS II) showed that a specific formula of vitamins and minerals could slow the progression of intermediate or advanced ARMD. There are forms of Macular Degeneration such as Stargardt Disease, that affect young people. It is caused solely by the expression of a recessive gene. ARMD or the Age Related Form of Macular Degeneration has five main risk factors:

  1. Age – Your risk increases as you age, and the disease is most likely to occur in those 55 and older.
  2. Genetics – People with a family history of AMD are at a higher risk.
  3. Race – Caucasians are more likely to develop the disease than African-Americans or Hispanics/Latinos.
  4. Smoking – Smoking doubles the risk of AMD
  5. Exposure to UV and Visible Blue Light – Retinal damage from the sun or LED lights or backlit display terminals (phones, tablets and computer screens)

All forms of Macular Degeneration can be diagnosed during a routine eye examination. The iWellness scan on the Optical Coherence Tomographer (OCT) is an important part of this examination. Here’s a sample image of what your own macula looks like on a scan.

OCT Scan for Macular Degeneration
iWellness scan from an Optical Coherence Topographer.

During your exam, I will show you a photo of your own macula and describe the layers that are affected. I can determine the exact level and type of Macular Degeneration or tell you your macula is perfectly healthy. Schedule your exam today and while you are there get a new pair of sunglasses or indoor tinted lenses designed to protect you from Blue and UV Light. You can also purchase a bottle of a high quality AREDS II formula called Ultra Macula from us. Stop in or give us a call!

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