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3 Early Warning Signs of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

by Damion Wasylow 13 February 2018 12:37 PM

older man squints to read the newspaper
It’s no secret that as we age, parts of our bodies stop performing as well as they used to. But that doesn’t mean you should write off a loss of ability as, “just part of getting older.” Quite the contrary, there’s often much you can do if you recognize the early warning signs and take action. Such is the case with the vision loss that accompanies age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).

ARMD is a breakdown of the macula, the part of the eye that helps you see fine details. The exact cause of the condition isn't known, but as indicated by the name, age-related macular degeneration typically affects people more as they get older. Some patients experience symptoms in their 50s and 60s, and the likelihood increases dramatically as people enter their 70s and 80s.

Here are three warning signs to be aware of… 

Warning Sign 1: Blurred Vision

ARMD usually produces symptoms slowly. Your vision blurs over time, particularly when trying to focus on things close up. You may find you need more light for reading, or can’t quite make out the writing on a medicine bottle. Straight lines may also appear distorted and/or wavy. These symptoms continually get worse.

Warning Sign 2: Dark Areas in Your Central Vision

If you notice a blurred area or dark spot in the center of your vision, age-related macular degeneration may be to blame. Shadowy sections in the middle of your focal area are a strong indicator of ARMD. In some cases, the condition can also produce a whited-out area in your vision.

Warning Sign 3: You Just Celebrated Your 50th Birthday

If you’re 50 or older, it’s a good idea to have a comprehensive eye exam every 2-4 years, and with increasing frequency as you age, to help detect vision problems including ARMD. Your eye doctor can often detect early signs of macular degeneration before you experience symptoms.

While ARMD cannot be cured, when diagnosed early, you may be able to slow the progress of the condition by making smart lifestyle choices, so it’s important to watch for the warning signs, and see your eye doctor if you have any reason for concern.

At North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care, our physicians and staff diagnose a wide variety of vision issues, including ARMD. Contact us today at 352-373-4300 to schedule an appointment.



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