Have you noticed that small spot near the center of the retina (Eye)? it is that part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision, which lets us see objects that are straight ahead.
As small as it is, it is made up of millions of light-sensing cells that provide sharp, central vision.
Now, that part of the eye is being affected by what is known as Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). AMD is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older
In some people, AMD advances so slowly that vision loss does not occur for a long time. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes.
Those at highest risk for developing AMD include individuals over the age of 50, Caucasians, people with hypertension, individuals who smoke, and those with a family history of AMD.
Symptoms include changes in vision such as straight lines appearing wavy, inability to see fine detail, dark spots in the center of your vision and a decreased ability to distinguish colors.
Currently, no treatment exists for early AMD, which in many people shows no symptoms or loss of vision. Your eye care professional may recommend that you get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. The exam will help determine if your condition is advancing.
For the majority of those suffering with AMD (90% have a type known as “dry” macular degeneration), there is no cure. However, research has shown that certain vitamin supplements such as Zinc and other antioxidants will slow down the progression of the disease.
Of course, life-style changes such as the cessation of smoking and a diet high in green leafy vegetables (more anti-oxidants) are also important ways to prevent this sight threatening disease.