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Am I at Risk of Macular Degeneration?

What causes Macular Degeneration?

The precise reason for dry macular degeneration remains unknown. However, the condition most often develops with the advent of age. Dry macular degeneration influences the macula- the area positioned at the retina center, responsible for your clear vision. With the passage of time, the macula could thin and break down.

Will My Eyes Degenerate?

There are a number of factors that can increase your chances of macular degeneration.

  • Age: With age, the risk of macular degeneration increases. The chances of developing macular degeneration increase after 50 years of age, with the condition being most common in individuals older than 65 years.
  • Family history: There is a greater chance of suffering from macular degeneration if one of your family members is already suffering from it, increasing the odds of vision loss, as well.
  • Race: Caucasians have a greater chance of macular degeneration compared to other races.
  • Obesity: You are at a greater risk of developing macular degeneration early on if you are severely above the recommended weight, as per your height. The early onset of macular degeneration may then lead to more hostile expressions of the condition.
  • Smoking: The risk of vision loss from macular degeneration increases if you are a regular smoker. Puffing away ups the chances of macular degeneration by at least three times. This is because your eye retina consumes oxygen at a very high rate, and anything, including smoking, that stops oxygen from being delivered to the retina could affect vision
  • Cardiovascular disease: If you have previously suffered from a disease which had affected your blood vessels and heart, you are at a much greater risk of suffering from macular degeneration.
  • Higher cholesterol: Incidence of higher cholesterol is also intimately linked with a greater macular degeneration risk.

Dry macular degeneration could progress to wet macular degeneration at any time, which causes a swifter loss of vision. It is extremely difficult for doctors to predict whether a patient will progress to wet macular degeneration and suffer extreme vision loss, so understanding the risk factors and early diagnosis is key in preserving eye health and vision as you age.

At Vision Source North Carolina practices, the doctors are dedicated to early diagnosis and the preservation of good eye health and vision. At Vision Source NC practices, you are sure to receive detailed examinations and evaluations to ensure proper preventative care and lasting eye health. To learn more about the risk of developing macular degeneration and preventative care, request an appointment at a Vision Source NC practice near you.