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The Importance of Getting Screened For Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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Scheduling regular eye exams, especially as you get older, is absolutely crucial to detecting, treating, and managing age-related eye conditions such as cataracts and AMD. 

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that causes the deterioration of the macula, which is the small central area of the retina. While it doesn’t cause total blindness, AMD does affect your central vision, making it hard to do everyday activities such as drive, read, and write.

Some of the risk factors associated with developing this condition include:

  • Ageing
  • Obesity and/or inactivity
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Genetics

Comprehensive AMD Testing & Eye Exams in NW Calgary

At Market Mall Optometry, we offer a wide range of vision services including AMD and glaucoma testing, cataract management, and eye exams for children and adults, to protect the eye health of your entire family.

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Why You Must Get Regular Eye Exams To Check For AMD

It is very possible to have the early signs of macular degeneration without even knowing it. That’s why having regular eye exams by an optometrist is so important, particularly if you’re at risk for this eye condition.

During the eye exam, your optometrist will be able to look at the back of your eye and identify early symptoms so you can begin treatment as soon as possible and prevent any vision loss.

Early Signs of Macular Degeneration:

  • difficulty reading or doing any other activity which requires fine vision
  • vision distortion where straight lines appear wavy or bent
  • difficulty distinguishing faces
  • dark patches or empty spaces near the centre of your vision
  • sensitivity to glare
  • decreased night vision
  • poor color sensitivity
  • increased need for illumination

Never Ignore Changes To Your Vision

However small and inconsequential they may seem, NEVER ignore changes to your vision. If you notice something is wrong, you should visit your local optometrist immediately for an eye exam.

Early detection is critical to saving sight. For both wet and dry AMD, the earlier the diagnosis is made, the earlier steps can be taken to slow disease progression. Conversely, delayed treatment increases the likelihood of vision loss.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration


How Do They Test For Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

There is no cure for AMD, so early diagnosis is one of the most important steps in managing the disease. During an eye exam, your optometrist will be able to make the diagnosis using a series of tests, including:

  • Visual acuity test. During this test, you’ll read letters from an eye chart to measure how well you see at different distances.
  • Amsler grid test. You will look at a series of grid lines to determine if you’re experiencing any distortions in your central vision.
  • Dilated eye exam. Drops will be placed in your eyes that widen your pupils. This is so your doctor can check the back of your eye and see whether or not there are any problems.  
  • Fluorescein angiogram. Your doctor may put a dye on your eye and this will allow him/her to see if any blood vessels in your eye are leaking.

Importance of Regular Eye Exams

In as little as 3 months, wet AMD can cause scarring and rob you of your central vision if you don’t receive proper treatment. The sooner you are diagnosed, the more likely you are to preserve and/or restore your vision.


Call Today

To find out more about how our qualified optometrists can help diagnose and treat AMD to prevent vision loss, contact our Calgary clinic at 403-286-4884 or book an eye exam today.

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