Do women suffer more from the effects of macular degeneration?Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in those over age 60. AMD is a disorder of the retina, the light-capturing tissue that lines the inside of the eye. There is an accumulation of waste products that disrupt the organization of the retinal layers as the ‘metabolism’ of the eyes slows down with age. This leads to distortion of the central visual field. Symptoms can progress to central blindness in the wet form of the disease, when leaky blood vessels begin to grow underneath the retina and further destroy the tissue.
-Both men and women can develop macular degeneration, but the group most at risk is light-skinned light-eyed Caucasian females
-Because the average life span is longer for women than men, there is more time for the disease to progress to debilitating stages
Although genetics cannot be overcome, there are a few modifiable risk factors that can reduce the risk of developing AMD. No smoking and UV protection are the easiest to control, you want to make sure when you are outside you are wearing your UV blocking sunglasses. Keeping an overall healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise can impact ocular health. Annual eye exams can screen for any early signs of AMD, especially if you have a strong family history of the disease. Timely referrals can be made to retinal specialists if any retinal findings are discovered.
Stop into one of our offices today to make and get your annual eye exam to make sure your eye health is preserved and maintained!