FAQ About Macular Degeneration
Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Macular Degeneration.
- Who is at risk for AMD?
Family History -- People with a family history of AMD may be at higher risk of getting the disease.
Gender -- Women may be at greater risk than men, according to some studies.
Although AMD can occur during middle age, the risk increases as a person gets older. Results of a large study show that people in their 50s have about a two percent chance of getting AMD. This risk rises to nearly 30 percent in those over age 70. Besides age, other AMD risk factors include:
Race -- Caucasians may have a greater chance of suffering from AMD.
High Cholesterol -- People with elevated cholesterol levels may be at higher risk for AMD.
High Blood Pressure -- Poor blood circulation can lower the blood flow to the eyes and contribute to the progression of AMD.
Smoking -- Smoking may increase the risk of AMD.
Diet -- An unbalanced diet may harm the macula and lead to AMD.
Sunlight -- Significant cumulative light exposure to the eye may increase the risk of AMD.
- What are different types of AMD?
AMD occurs in two forms:
Dry AMD -- Affects about 90% of those with the disease. Small yellow deposits called drusen accumulate underneath the macula. These drusen may cause the important vision cells to slowly break down. With less of the macula working, you may start to lose central vision in the affected eye as the years go by.
Wet AMD -- While occurring in only 10% of all people with AMD, it actually accounts for 90% of all severe vision loss from the disease. It occurs when new blood vessels start to grow into places in the macula where they should not be. This causes rapid damage to the macula that can lead to the loss of central vision in a short period of time.
- How do I know if I have AMD and the stage that it is in?
You may not have any symptoms, or you may experience central vision loss. Your doctor can diagnose AMD and its level of development through an eye exam.
A common feature of AMD is the presence of drusen, or yellow deposits under the retina. Drusen can be seen by an eye care professional during an eye exam in which drops are placed in the eyes to dilate the pupils. Drusen by themselves do not usually cause vision loss, but an increase in their size and/or number increases a person's risk of developing advanced AMD, which can cause severe vision loss.
- Is it true that I can't take beta-carotene if I smoke?
There are possible risks associated with smoking and using high dosages of beta-carotene. Before taking this product, consult your doctor to see if PreserVision® Eye Vitamin and Mineral Supplement is right for you.
Learn about PreserVision® Soft Gels Lutein formula and easy-to-swallow, AREDS based formula that
replaces vitamin A with FloraGLO Lutein for those who should avoid beta-carotene, such as smokers.
- Are there any side effects from the nutrients found in PreserVision® Eye Vitamins, and how will they interact with any other medications I might be taking?
The AREDS participants reported few side effects from the treatments. Nor are we aware of any interactions with our other Ocuvite® products. It is best to consult with your eye doctor or family doctor, as he/she is most familiar with your medical needs
- I don't have AMD but my mother does. Is there anything I can do to keep from getting it?
Genetic factors are linked to AMD. Consult your doctor about appropriate steps you can take to help lower your risk.