Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Genetic Testing
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects central vision, and is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 55. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. There are two forms of AMD, dry and wet. The dry form is the most common and less severe form. Vision loss may be substantial, but is often less severe than wet AMD. Wet AMD can cause severe visual loss secondary to leakage of blood or fluid in the retina.
Risk factors in developing AMD include:
- Increased age
- Family history
- Sunlight exposure
- Gender (females at higher risk)
- Light colored skin and eyes
- Poor diet
How Is AMD Diagnosed and Treated?
Any patient with AMD or a known family history of AMD should have regular eye exams. Diagnosis of AMD includes visual acuity testing, dilated examination of the retina, and imaging of the eyes including fluorescein angiography (FA) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Patients diagnosed with AMD may try to reduce risk factors by quitting smoking, eating a diet rich in dark leafy greens, and in general, maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Vitamin therapy, based on The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) has been shown to reduce the risk of progression in dry AMD. For those patients with wet AMD, medications are now available that can be injected directly into the eye to treat any leakage.
We offer genetic testing for AMD. The genetic testing is intended for patients who have the diagnosis of early or intermediate AMD. The test will help determine the risk of progression of AMD and will identify the appropriate eye vitamin therapy for vision preservation based on the patient’s specific genetic profile. You may speak to your doctor at your next visit to see if this test is appropriate for you.
Our practice is proud to offer EyePromise vitamins. Several formulations are available and are intended for overall ocular health, macular health, and dry eye. The EyePromise vitamins are all natural and made in the USA from the highest quality ingredients. Ask your physician about what therapy may be right for you at your next visit. For frequently asked questions, please visit: https://www.eyepromise.com/eyepromis-faq/ .