AMD Is the Leading Cause of Blindness in Adults 65 & Older
AMD is the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 and older, currently affecting more than 15 million Americans, with 200,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Unfortunately, this number has increased 25 percent over the last decade.
A reason for this increase, according to Florida Eye’s Macular Degeneration Specialist Randy Katz, M.D. is that too many adults put off getting annual eye exams. “The only way to stay on top of potential problems is to have regular yearly exams, and sometimes more often than that if a condition needs to be monitored closely. This is the only way for eye doctors to monitor for any changes in a patient’s vision, which can truly mean the difference between preserving sight and perhaps even losing it.”
Barry Schechter, M.D., F.A.A.O. is the Director of Cornea & Cataract Services, Glaucoma, External Disease & Comprehensive Ophthalmology at Florida Eye. He concurs with Dr. Katz and adds another reason for the increase in adults living with AMD: “As our population ages and lives longer, we will continue to see a rise in conditions such as AMD as well as cataracts and glaucoma, all ailments which necessitate preventive care.”
Besides regular visits to the eye doctor, Dr. Schechter recommends no smoking, healthy eating and staying active. Additionally, protecting eyes from the sun with UV-blocking sunglasses and brimmed hats could also help prevent eye injuries that could lead to AMD and cataracts.