By Dr. Nadine Shelton
What is AMD?
It’s February, time for Valentine’s Day and for Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of vision loss in Canadians over the age of 50 and most people probably know someone affected by this disease. Macular degeneration is a loss of central vision caused by damage to the macula, the part of the retina responsible for sharp vision. There are two types of AMD. The more common Dry AMD is characterized by deposits forming on the retina that slowly start to blur the central vision. This can cause straight lines to appear slanted or broken. Wet AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessels growing under the retina that leak and cause fluid accumulation, which further distorts the vision. This impacts a person’s ability to perform their daily life activities such as recognize faces, reading and writing.
There is no definite cause of AMD however, some other determined risks factors are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, age and family history. Currently, there is no cure for AMD, however Wet AMD can be treated with injections to stop or delay the progression of vision loss. AMD does not cause total vision loss and only affects the central vision in most people while, patients diagnosed with AMD are often recommended to take vitamins containing Lutein, an anti-oxidant, proven to slow disease progression.
Low vision magnifier used to help someone read labels better
Copping with AMD
Low vision is defined as a visual impairment that is not correctable with glasses, surgery or medications, it also can cause blurred vision, blind spots, tunnel vision or blindness. Patients use specific low vision devices such as magnifiers, telescopes or special glasses to overcome some of their challenges. Your optometrist will be able to guide you in the right direction regarding treatment options and visit schedules. There are also many services available at the CNIB for people who are currently dealing with low vision problems.
Eye Care Advice
Visit me at nv eye care eye wear for an eye exam if you have any questions about the products above. Patient visits with eye concerns are always covered by Manitoba Health, for those with a Manitoba Health number. For more answers to your vision health questions, please contact me, Dr. Nadine Shelton at nv eye care eye wear, 204-504-6863.
Dr. Nadine Shelton B.Sc, O.D. studied at University of Winnipeg, Canada and Indiana University, USA. She has worked abroad in Guanajuato, Mexico assisting outreach patient eye care with VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity). Her university days focused on early child eye care and low vision. Dr. Shelton has spent over ten years growing her practice in Winnipeg. She has recently opened her new own practice with her partner Victor Lopes in the heart of the Corydon Village called nv. nv is a full service optical where eye exams are available and a great selection of unique to the city eye wear can be found. Learn more at nvmyeyes.com, call us at (204) 504-6863 or come see us at 100-698 Corydon Ave in Winnipeg, Canada.