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Age-related Macular degeneration – Causes and Symptoms of Age-related Macular degeneration

Age-related Macular degeneration (AMD)is the most common cause of severe vision loss in people over 60 years of age. This occurs due to the degeneration of the central portion of the retina, called macula. The light-sensing nerve tissue present at the back of the eye is the retina. Although it never causes blindness, they can cause significant loss of vision. The macula is an important portion of the eye as it helps you to read, drive, watch television, sew and all the activities that needs focused vision.

What causes Macular Degeneration?

The exact cause of AMD is not known but research states that the condition develops as the eye ages and due to environmental factors. Genetic factor is the other cause of this disease. The other factors include:

  • Age: In the United States, AMD is one of the cause of severe loss of vision in older people above 60 years of age.
  • Family history of macular degeneration: If any person in your family suffers from macular degeneration, you are at a greater risk of developing this disorder. According to recent studies, this disorder is related to some gene.
  • Race: This disorder occurs commonly in whites than other groups, especially after 75 of age.
  • Sex: According to a research, women are more likely to develop this disorder as they tend to live longer.
  • Cigarette Smoking: When you are exposed to cigarette smoke, this doubles the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Obesity: Being obese can increase the risk of this disease and can progress to the severe form of the disease.
  • Light colored eyes: Those people who have light colored eyes are at higher risk of this disorder when compared with those who have darker eyes.
  • Cardiovascular disease: Any disease of the heart can be a risk factor for this disorder.
  • Low level of nutrients: Low levels of nutrients like zinc, vitamins A, C and E can cause macular degeneration.
  • Exposure to sunlight: Those living near the equator and those people with lifelong outdoor careers or hobbies are at risk of developing this disorder.
  • Medications: Some medications used for osteoporosis can be one of the predisposing factors of this disorder.

Symptoms

Some of the signs and symptoms appear rapidly. They include:

  • Decreased central vision
  • Visual distortions like a straight line can appear wavy and crooked
  • Decreased intensity or brightness of colors
  • Blind or blurry spot in your field of vision
  • Seeing non-existent things like animal faces and geometrical figures
  • Objects appear smaller in one eye than the other
  • A loss in central sensitivity
  • Rapid worsening of the condition

When to consult to your Doctor?

Consult your doctor if you are above 50 years of age and if you notice the above symptoms.

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