3001 W. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 105
Troy, MI 48084
(248) 649-2820
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February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) Awareness Month. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 60 years of age, affecting more Americans than cataracts and glaucoma combined.

ARMD occurs when the macula, the small central area of the retina, deteriorates. The macula is responsible for your sharp, central vision allowing you to read, write, drive, recognize faces and see fine detail. There is no pain associated with the disease and in its early stages may go unrecognized until it progresses or affects both eyes. In the initial stages of ARMD straight lines can appear wavy and usually a dim, blurry area will appear in the middle of your vision. This area may get larger or darker over time.
There are two types of ARMD. The dry form is more common and progresses slowly. It is characterized by yellow deposits in the macula called drusen. A few drusen may not cause vision changes; however as they increase in size and number, they will lead to a dimming and distortion of your vision. In more advanced stages there is also thinning of the light-sensitive layer of cells in the macula leading to blind spots in the center of your vision. The dry form can lead to the second type of ARMD, the wet form.

There are two types of ARMD. The dry form is more common and progresses slowly. It is characterized by yellow deposits in the macula called drusen. A few drusen may not cause vision changes; however as they increase in size and number, they will lead to a dimming and distortion of your vision. In more advanced stages there is also thinning of the light-sensitive layer of cells in the macula leading to blind spots in the center of your vision. The dry form can lead to the second type of ARMD, the wet form.

The wet form of ARMD is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels leaking blood and fluid into the retina causing straight lines to look wavy, as well as blind spots and loss of central vision. These abnormal blood vessels eventually scar, leading to permanent vision loss. Although only about 10% of people with ARMD develop the wet form it accounts for 90% of all severe vision loss from the disease.

We do not know the cause of ARMD but it may be hereditary. The greatest risk factor for
developing ARMD is age. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being female and obesity. Your lifestyle can play a role in reducing your risk of developing ARMD. Eating a healthy diet high in green leafy vegetables and fish, not smoking, and maintaining a normal weight are all important. Also, keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in a normal range.

ARMD can be detected during a routine eye examination with Dr. Greenberg. She may ask you to look at an Amsler grid which is a pattern of straight lines that resemble a checkerboard. Some lines may appear wavy to you or some may be missing. These can be signs of ARMD. Early detection is very important because there are treatments that may delay or reduce the severity of the disease. To schedule an eye exam with Dr. Greenberg please call (248) 649-2820.

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3001 W. Big Beaver Rd. Suite 105 Troy, MI 48084

Located on the southwest corner of W. Big Beaver and Coolidge Hwy. across from Somerset Mall

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1-888-LASER-20/20
(1-888-527-3720) or (248) 649-2820
FAX 248-649-1444

vision@greenbergeye.com

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