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MACULAR DEGENERATION And Age Related Macular Degeneration.
Macular Degeneration is a progressive eye condition affecting as many as 15 million Americans with 200,000 new cases each year. MD causes severe loss because it attacks the macula of the eye, where our sharpest central vision occurs. It gets in the way of reading, driving, identifying faces, watching television, safely navigating stairs and performing other daily tasks. MD never causes complete blindness, but it robs the individual of all but the outermost, peripheral vision, leaving only dim images or holes at the center of vision. www.amd.org
- Age - The number one risk factor is age. One third of adults over the age of 25 are affected by age-related macular degeneration.
- Smoking - Smoking increases an individual’s chances of developing age-related macular degeneration by two to five-fold. The retina has a high rate of oxygen consumption. Anything that affects the rate of oxygen delivery to the retina has the potential to negatively impact vision. Smoking causes oxidative damage, which is thought to contribute to the development and progression of this disease.
- Gender - Females are more likely to be affected by age-related macular degeneration than males. This may be due to the fact that females live longer than males.
- Race - Caucasians are more likely to be affected by age-related macular degeneration than other races. This may be due to differences in genetic background or pigmentation.
- Prolonged sun exposure – Ultra-violet (UV) light damages retinal tissue directly, and can also lead to the accumulation of products that are harmful to the retina.
- A high fat diet, and/or one that is low in nutrients and antioxidants - Individuals with diets high in fat, cholesterol and sugar, and low in antioxidants are more likely to be affected by age-related macular degeneration.
- Obesity - Overweight individuals are more likely to be affected by age-related macular degeneration. An individual with a body mass index (BMI is a measure of body fat) of greater than 30 is 2.5 times more likely to be affected by age-related macular degeneration.
- High blood pressure - Individuals with high blood pressure are more likely to be affected by age-related macular degeneration. High blood pressure, like smoking, leads to a constriction, or narrowing, of the blood vessels that nourish the retina, negatively affecting its health. www.ahaf.org
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Don't let macular degeneration steal your sight.
Video 1: "What Is Macular Degeneration?" (Download the video transcript)
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By: SP\March 25,2012
Principal ID 96953102
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