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Managing Age-Related Macular Degeneration

senior glasses opticianAge-related macular degeneration is a condition that affects as many as 50 million American citizens and is a leading cause of vision loss among those over 65 years of age. As the population grows older, macular degeneration rates are expected to increase proportionally, especially now that today’s seniors are living longer than at any time in history. Unfortunately, medical science has yet to find a cure for this condition, but the good news is that plenty is known about managing it. Here’s what you need to know about managing age-related macular degeneration.

Stop Smoking

Smoking damages more than just the lungs — it also constricts blood vessels, which can significantly affect ocular health. Smoking is a known risk factor in the development of age-related macular degeneration and is also a suspected culprit in the condition’s progression.

Have Regular Eye Exams

Most patients with age-related macular degeneration should schedule an eye exam every six months to determine what changes in their vision have occurred. This gives your eye doctor a chance to determine whether the condition is getting worse. You might be a candidate for antivascular therapy that restricts the development of additional blood vessels. This treatment usually requires an injection into the retinal area once per month.

Ask Your Eye Doctor About Low Vision Rehabilitation

Low vision rehabilitation is designed to develop a customized routine using a variety of tools and adjustments. Instead of being focused on diagnosing or treating eye conditions, low-vision therapy is designed to provide ways to retain optimal independence and quality of life while dealing with loss of vision. Examples of low vision rehabilitation include modifying the home so that it’s easier to navigate, improving lighting conditions to provide bright ambient light that eliminates tricky shadows, and labeling important items such as medications and household cleaners.

Ask Your Eye Doctor About Vitamins Designed for Ocular Health

Evidence suggests that certain supplements may be instrumental in slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Lutein, in particular, has been found to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Other ingredients in eye health supplements include zinc, copper, and vitamins A, C, and E.

Please contact our office at your convenience for more information on ocular health or to schedule an appointment with a member of our skilled staff.