Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is indeed a thief: it robs people of their vision, takes away their ability to read, watch movies, and drive a car.

Do you have a family member who has been diagnosed with AMD?  If so, you should take a moment from your busy day and read this.  Why?  Because Macular Degeneration can run in families.

People who inherit certain genes in the “complement cascade,” which is part of the immune system, have a higher risk for AMD, so knowing you have a family member who has been diagnosed with it can be very scary.  And who wants to be scared? So, if you have a family member who has been diagnosed with AMD, it’s important (and less scary) to see a doctor and complete an examination.

Macular Degeneration can destroy your macula, the central part of your retina.  And, since there is a genetic component to the disease, having a family member who has been diagnosed with it can increase your risk of developing it yourself.

Now that there are preventable measures available, it’s very important that you get evaluated by a doctor.

It’s not uncommon to have a parent or grandparent, or even a sibling, diagnosed with macular degeneration.  Unfortunately, there are many people who have loved ones who have gone blind from the disease.

It hasn’t been until recently that extensive research has provided us with proven vitamin formulas that can slow the progress of this disease.  If it’s detected early, these treatment options can protect you against the progression of AMD.

If any of the following risk factors for AMD relate to you or a family member, it’s vital that you seek a medical exam.

1.  If you’re over the age of 50.  Age Related Degeneration, as it’s name implies, is age related.

2.   If you have a family history of AMD.  If you do, this places you at higher risk.

3.   If you have cardio-vascular concerns, such as smoking, obesity, or heart disease.  These can increase your risk of developing macular degeneration.

At EyeCare Focus & Specialties our focus and dedication to medical eye care is demonstrated by our state-of-the-art technology and continuing development of our medical model of optometry.  If you are at risk for AMD, please call our office at 541-726-5055 to schedule your medical eye exam today.