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Keeping an Eye on Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Early detection, careful monitoring, and prompt treatment are crucial to saving sight


SAN FRANCISCO— Marilyn Gozdon can tell you from personal experience why it’s crucial to know your risks for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Marilyn lost most of the vision in her left eye to “wet” AMD five years ago, before new medications revolutionized treatment of this form of the disease. Today Marilyn is fiercely committed to working with her Eye MD (ophthalmologist) to maintain the 20/40 vision she still enjoys in her “good” right eye.

Age-related macular degenerationis a main cause of vision loss in the United States. Advanced AMD destroys the detailed, central vision we need to recognize faces, read, drive, and enjoy daily life. March is AMD Awareness Month, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology together with the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Macula Society, and The Retina Society, encourage Americans to know their risks for AMD.

“When we catch AMD early, patients can make lifestyle changes that may slow disease progress, or we can start treatment, if needed,” says Mark S. Hughes, MD, a retinal specialist with Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston and a clinical correspondent for the Academy. “Even someone with 20/20 vision can suffer rapid vision loss from undetected AMD.  People need to know their risks so that they can save their sight.”

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