AMD causes blindness
Forty-two million people are blind worldwide. The leading cause is common eye disease and only less than 4 percent is the result of injuries.
The numbers are staggering: 5.5 million have vision obstructed by cataract, 10 million have above-normal intraocular pressure that may lead to glaucoma (or two million are visually impaired by glaucoma), and 13 million people have signs of macular degeneration.
There are five major causes of vision loss: under-corrected refractive error, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Almost all of the 9 percent with cataract will have excellent outcomes from surgery, and a further 8 percent have preventable vision loss due to glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.
Most people with AMD eventually suffer some irreversible vision loss. There is no cure for AMD and the causes are not completely known.
The risk of getting AMD increases with age. Studies have shown that people in their 50s have about a 2 percent chance of getting AMD, but this risk jumps to about 30 percent for those over 75. Women, smokers and people with elevated levels of blood cholesterol may be more susceptible to AMD.
AMD is a condition that primarily affects the macula, the center of the retina responsible for sharp central vision. This area enables reading, driving and other activities that require, fine, sharp, straight-ahead vision.
The recently completed Age-related Eye Disease Study found that dietary supplements containing high-dose combinations of antioxidants and minerals reduced the risk of advanced AMD and vision loss.
It is a good practice for those aged 45 years and above to go for a detailed eye examination every one to two years. Any eye disease generally has better prognosis if detected and treated early.
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Source: Bausch & Lomb Press Release
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