Are You at Risk for Macular Degeneration?

With February being Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month, we want to provide important information to help you keep your eyes healthy!

When we hear the term Age-Related Macular Degeneration many of us believe that it comes about due to old age. While aging is a risk in developing AMD, there are many other things that can lead to developing the disease. Here are some commonly named risk factors for developing AMD:

Obesity and inactivity. A study published in Archives of Ophthalmology (June 2003) showed that overweight patients with macular degeneration had more than double the risk of developing advanced forms of the disease compared with people of normal body weight. This study also found that those who performed rigorous activity at least three times a week reduced their risk of developing advanced AMD.

High blood pressure. Studies have found people with high blood pressure may be more likely to develop macular degeneration.

Heredity. Another risk factor for macular degeneration is heredity. Individuals who have a close family member with macular degeneration have a greater chance of developing the disease themselves.

Smoking. Smoking has been found to be a major risk factor when it comes to developing macular degeneration. It has been found to be directly associated with about 25 percent of AMD cases causing severe vision loss.

Make sure you are doing your part to keep to your eyes healthy! Make an appointment today for your annual eye exam!