Have you been experiencing vision changes, such as unusual blurring or distortion? Are these changes beyond just a lack of focus and clarity as is typical of presbyopia (farsightedness) or myopia (nearsightedness), but rather a lack of being able to see things in the center of your vision?
If so, then you might have a vision disorder called macular degeneration. This condition is a leading cause of central vision loss in people over age 50, but it can be successfully treated if caught early.
Its exact cause is unknown, but research has pointed to several risk factors to developing this age-related eye disease. Let’s talk about whether you may be at a heightened risk of developing macular degeneration, and where you can go for outstanding eye care right here in Washington in the Greater St. Louis area.
How Do People Get Macular Degeneration?
There are two types of this condition: wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration. The “wet” version indicates that there is blood in the macula/retina area, and the “dry” version is when there is thinning of the macula in the retina. The wet version always begins as the dry version.
The following are some of the risk factors involved in potentially developing this eye condition:
The most common risk factor for macular degeneration is age, because you are more likely to develop it as you pass age 50. You may first experience blurry vision as the macula starts to become thin. This part of your eye is responsible for central vision. You are likely to maintain your peripheral vision.
Heredity can also make you more susceptible to developing macular degeneration. Researchers have identified several genes that may carry a link to this chronic condition – so if a family member has this eye disorder, then you are at a higher risk of developing either one of the two types: wet or dry.
Lifestyle and Physical Factors
Lifestyle habits or certain activities can increase the likelihood of developing this chronic eye disorder, including:
- Smoking – People who smoke or are regularly exposed to smoke have a significantly higher risk of developing this condition than those who do not.
- Regularly eating food high in saturated fats – Frequent consumption of saturated fats may lead to obesity, which is another risk factor of developing this eye disease.
- Weight – Being overweight increases your risk of more progressive macular degeneration.
Macular Degeneration Treatment in Washington
If you need a good eye doctor, visit the specialists at Advanced Sight Center here in Washington, Missouri. Our medical team comprises board-certified ophthalmologists who have years of experience in helping patients with their eye conditions, from macular degeneration to cataracts to glaucoma and beyond.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our friendly staff today by calling our Washington office at (636) 239-1650. You can also fill out our online appointment request form now for your convenience. Let us help you keep your vision healthy and your eyesight clear!