Macular degeneration: When does prevention make sense and what are the risk factors for developing AMD?
Age-related macular degeneration – also known as AMD for short – is a metabolic disorder in the eye. In particular, the eye disease occurs in people who have passed the age of sixty.
AMD often goes undetected until those affected notice severe loss of vision. The eye disease is then often more advanced. Without ophthalmological treatment, AMD, especially wet AMD, can lead to complete blindness.
For this reason, it is very important to detect age-related macular degeneration at an early stage.
What are the risk factors for developing age-related macular degeneration?
- Genetic risk – If there has already been a family history of AMD, there is a higher risk of developing AMD. Genetic predisposition is a risk factor. The risk group includes people whose parents or siblings are already suffering from age-related macular degeneration.
- Smokers are affected more often – Regular nicotine consumption is a risk factor for developing AMD. Smokers belong to those affected earlier and more often.
- Women are more likely to develop AMD – Women are more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than men.
- Too little UV protection for the eyes – People who frequently and defenselessly expose their eyes to UV light run an increased risk of developing AMD.
It is very important to identify AMD at an early stage. If the patient experiences a loss of vision, it can often not be reversed.
Age-related macular degeneration: Prevention for patients
- Recognizing the first changes in the retina – In order to be able to treat the disease early, it is important to diagnose it in good time. Risk groups, in particular, should regularly go to the ophthalmological check-ups.
- First ophthalmological check with 55 – When you reach the age of 55, we recommend that you have a clarification and a first check for AMD at your ophthalmologist.
- A check-up every other year – If no change is found at this check-up, it is sufficient to repeat an ophthalmological check-up every two years for the next few years.
- Close monitoring in the event of changes – If a patient is diagnosed with the first signs of AMD, there will be further follow-up appointments. Depending on the findings, these will take place monthly, every six months or once a year.