Nearly 15-million Americans over the age of 50 have an eye disease that blurs objects directly in front of them. It's called Age-related Macular Degeneration and in its advanced stages can make reading, driving, and recognizing faces nearly impossible.
Age-related Macular Degeneration or A-M-D is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50. The disease gradually destroys the macula, the part of the eye that provides sharp central vision. In the intermediate and advanced stages of the disease, you may see a blurred spot in the center of your vision. " The symptoms while you're actually reading, distortion of lines or not being able to read the complete line if there any missing areas or distorted or wavy areas that includes wavy lines or missing letters missing words could be suggestive of macular degeneration," said Doctor Muge Kesen, WVU Ophthalmologist.
There are two kinds of AMD. The dry form or the most common kind that can lead to a dimming or distortion of vision. The wet form that can lead to permanent loss of central vision.
Those with a family history of macular degeneration, smokers, and Caucasians are more likely to get AMD. While there is no cure for AMD, there are some things you can do that can slow down its progression. "Daily intake of antioxidants including Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc and Copper does decrease the progression of disease, progression to advanced stage of the disease in patients with intermediate macular degeneration up to 25 percent," said Doctor Kesen.@
A breakthrough in treatment is expected over the next year. "There is tremendous amount of research under way, investigations that are hopefully are going to take us to the next level that we could offer various treatment options, pills, injectables, intravenous agents that are administered through administering through an arm vein or long, long lasting medications that currently are not available but down the line will become available to our patients," said Doctor Kesen.