Macular Degeneration Causes Loss of Vision. Keep Your Aging Parents
Out of the Hospital!

My Mom has macular degeneration and her vision is poor. This has been an enormous disappointment for her.

She used to enjoy reading books and watching TV . She had her favorite sit-coms to look forward to every week like we all do. Of course she can't see the TV any more- even large screens.

And along with that went the computer screen. It's too bad because she loved spending time at the computer checking email from friends and relatives. And she loved playing solitaire.

For people over the age of 50, this is the commonest cause of blindness. 15%-30% of people over 75 have it.

These photos depict "dry" AMD. 85% of people with AMD will have dry AMD.

Looking with AMD

These photos are from NIH Publication No. 03-2294, National Eye Institute.

Macular degeneration is a cause of poor sight related to advancing age: age-related macular degeneration (AMD, or ARMD). Gradually, the cells in the center of the retina (the macula) break down (degenerate). This causes blurring in the middle of our view.

Abnormal blood vessels start to grow behind the retina beneath the macula. This damages the macula. This is "wet" AMD. Over 60% of people with severe AMD have wet AMD.

The treatment for either type is not very successful but still evolving.

Main risk factors are smoking, white vs African American, women more than men, and family history.

From my family history, I also am at greater risk of developing this AMD. I am followed by a retinal specialist because I had a retinal detachment several years ago. He says he doesn't see any signs of it in my eyes at this time.

He himself doesn't have any extra risk factors. But he says he ALWAYS wears sun glasses when he goes outside in the daytime. Just to be cautious.

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