What Causes Macular Degeneration?

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Characterized by deterioration of the central part of the retina (an area known as the macula), age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the primary cause of blindness in individuals who are 50 years of age and older. This common condition can be diagnosed as either dry ARMD or wet ARMD, the latter of which refers to the abnormal growth of blood vessels that leak fluid and/or blood in the macula. Initial symptoms of ARMD often include minor blurring and/or distortion in one’s central vision that may worsen over time.

 

As its name suggests, age-related macular degeneration is generally associated with aging, though some scientific evidence suggests genetics may also be a cause. In addition to age and heredity, several health and lifestyle elements such as cigarette smoking, heart disease, high blood pressure, unhealthy diet, and sun exposure have all proven to be risk factors for developing ARMD.

 

To help prevent age-related macular degeneration from developing and/or worsening, our team of highly experienced eye doctors at Chester County Eye Care Associates recommends avoiding smoking, limiting sun overexposure without proper eye protection, and adopting a nutritious diet rich in antioxidants. Additionally, certain vitamins and supplements may also help prevent the development or advancement of ARMD.

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For more information about the causes of macular degeneration, or if you would like to schedule an appointment at our practice, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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