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What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the breakdown of the macula, which is the region of the eye with the greatest visual acuity. This breakdown causes central vision to blur, making reading, driving, and sewing difficult. Because ARMD is a common disease in the elderly, there are several things you should know when providing home care in Prescott to help your loved one prevent or delay the onset of the disease.

The Disease Itself Doesn’t Lead to Blindness

The macula is responsible for central vision and allows us to see fine details. While ARMD can cause a loss of vision in this area, it doesn’t affect peripheral vision.

It Can Develop Either Slowly or Rapidly

In some seniors, the disease develops so slowly that symptoms aren’t noticed for a long time. In others, however, the disease can rapidly progress, causing loss of vision in one or both eyes.

Early Detection Is Critical

Because early symptoms sometimes go unnoticed, it is important for your loved one to receive regular eye examinations. If you or a Prescott caregiver notices your loved one experiencing any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment for him or her as soon as possible.

  • Blurriness in part of the eye

  • Seeing dark areas

  • Blank spots that may grow and enlarge

  • Distorted view

Though there is no cure for early ARMD, lifestyle changes can be made that may prevent the disease from further progressing. Additionally, your loved one’s doctor may recommend more frequent eye exams to check on the progression of the disease.

As the ARMD progresses, supplements may be recommended by your loved one’s doctor to slow down the progression. The disease can also be treated with injections, photodynamic therapy, and laser surgery.

Lifestyle Changes Can Prevent or Delay AMD

Genetics have been found to play a role in developing ARMD. People over the age of 50 are also at a higher risk if they:

  • Smoke

  • Get little or no exercise

  • Eat an unhealthy diet sparse in fruits and vegetables

A recent study from the National Eye Institute found those with a family history of the disease were less likely to develop it when they made healthy lifestyle changes.

Does your loved one need help maintaining healthy habits that can lead to the prevention of ARMD and other complications? Home Care Assistance offers part-time and 24-hour care Prescott families trust, and our caregivers can assist your loved one with exercise, nutritious meal prep, and help with a wide array of other daily tasks. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 928-771-0105 to schedule a free in-home consultation.