Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Educate Yourself

September 18-26, 2010 marks Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Week around the world which unites organizations globally to raise awareness of this sight-threatening disease. Macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss for people over age 50, is a progressive disease which targets the macula – the area of the retina responsible for detailed, central vision. Although it rarely leads to total blindness, it results in blurred or dim central vision with only side vision remaining intact. But despite its prevalence, with over 30 million people affected worldwide, many are unaware of this devastating disease or the importance of regular eye exams to identify AMD in its earliest stages. Knowing the facts and leading contributing causes can significantly improve your chances of maintaining healthy vision. Along with annual eye exams, a healthy lifestyle has been shown to decrease the chances of developing the disease. AMD is 2-3 times more prevalent in smokers; a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet can restrict blood flow in ocular vessels thus increasing the risk of AMD, and excessive UV light exposure is also considered a risk factor for the disease. Although there is currently no cure for AMD, there has been great progress made in developing therapies that can slow down the disease process. From specially formulated eye-vitamins to intra-ocular injectable medications, your optometrist can help decide if you are a candidate for any of these therapies.

This year's AMD Week advocates a strong message: any of us can be affected by macular degeneration, none of us should surrender to it.

Dr. Pozzer would like to remind patients that individuals over age 65 are covered by OHIP for all of their eye-care appointments. New patients are always welcome!

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Dr. Kristyn Pozzer

OPTOMETRIST

Millcroft Shopping Centre
2080 Appleby Line, Unit E6
Burlington, Ontario, L7L6M6
Tel: (905) 319-1066