Having a basic familiarity with the risk factors for age related macular degeneration (AMD) is important for patients-especially seniors-as AMD is a leading cause of severe vision loss among Americans ages 65 and over. The key to preventing vision loss from age related macular degeneration is early detection, diagnosis and treatment as recommended by your eye doctor.

Know the Top AMD Risks

  • Being over the Age of 60
  • Having a Family History of AMD
  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension

If you have any two of these risk factors, you should schedule an appointment for a complete eye exam and evaluation. Based on your eye exam and risk factors we may recommend certain preventive measures which can reduce your risk of vision loss from this disorder.

There are some AMD risk factors that can positively impact by making good lifestyle choices. These include not smoking, eating a heart healthy low fat diet rich in green leafy vegetables and limiting alcohol consumption. Some choices may not be possible such as reducing the long term use of aspirin. For patients at high risk for developing late stage AMD, taking a dietary supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, has been shown to lower the risk of AMD advancing to advanced stages by 25 percent. Other risk factors such as genetic factors cannot be changed. However, knowing your family medical history is one way to learn whether you may be genetically predisposed to a disease.

Know the Symptoms of Wet AMD

With early detection, diagnosis and treatment with Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Inhibitor injections such as Lucentis® and Eylea® it is possible to avoid or minimize vision loss from Wet AMD. People who are at risk should know the symptoms of Wet AMD, as this type of AMD is the most likely to cause sudden, rapid, serious and even catastrophic vision loss. Symptoms of wet AMD can include sudden, noticeable loss or distortion of vision, such as seeing “wavy” lines, “distortion”, “bending of straight lines and objects”, or even “distortion of facial features”.

If you experience any of these symptoms, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas right away and explain your symptoms and request an immediate appointment. Current treatments for Wet AMD provide an excellent chance of stopping vision loss and may actually restore some vision when macular degeneration develops. Earlier diagnosis of wet AMD gives a better chance of successful treatment.

If you or someone you know has questions or needs to schedule an appointment, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.