By Doctors Paul Dowd and Emmanuel Zanoudakis
The Macula of the eye is responsible for the clear central vision that we rely on to read, drive and recognize faces. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a condition in which this sensitive part of the retina begins to break down and loses its ability to create clear visual images. About 1.75 million U. S. residents over the age of 50 have advanced AMD and that number is expected to grow to almost 3 million by 2020.
Factors that lead to a greater risk of developing Age Related Macular Degeneration are:
• Fair-Haired, Fair-Skinned Females
• Obesity and High Levels of Dietary Fat
• High Blood Pressure
• Over Exposure to Sunlight
Recent advancements in eye care technology have made it possible to diagnose macular degeneration in its infancy, to access our patients’ risk for developing macular degeneration and to take action to prevent its onset.
In its earliest stage, AMD may be symptom less. Since 2000, we have included Optomap
Scanning Technology as a screening tool in our patients’ comprehensive, annual eye exams. Conducted without the use of dilating drops, Optomap is instrumental in detecting macular degeneration in its earliest stage before blurred vision, shadows, or missing areas of vision occur. We believe this is critical since once these symptoms are present, treatment options may only delay the progression of the disease or limit central vision loss.
A recent study conducted by the National Eye Institute, “The Age-Related Eye Disease Study” (AREDS), has concluded that taking high dose nutritional supplements containing vitamin E, Zinc, zeaxanthin, and lutein, when necessary, can reduce the risk of developing early stage AMD or restrict its progression by 25%.
We are pleased to, once again, be the first eye care practitioners in Cuyahoga County to
obtain cutting edge technology to determine the specific nutritional health of the human
eye. Through the use of ZeaVision’s Eye-Q Macular Pigment Optical Density (MPOD) Scanner, a quick and non-invasive test can assess the nutritional make-up of your eyes’ macular pigments: the very first step in developing a strategy for preventing AMD and central vision loss.
At Doctors of Optometry, Inc., we believe it is best to prevent the development of macular degeneration or to diagnose it in its earliest stage rather than to simply attempt to limit vision loss after symptoms appears. is can be accomplished by having a comprehensive, annual eye exam with MPOD and Optomap Screening, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, protecting our eyes with sunglasses, and using an all-natural nutritional supplement when indicated.
After all, we all only have one pair of eyes.