February is not only the month of love, but it is also Age-Related Macular Degeneration awareness month. It is estimated that over 1.64 Americans have Age-Related Macular Degeneration, also known as AMD. In an effort to increase awareness and knowledge regarding AMD, we’ve created a blog post which outlines what Age-Related Macular Degeneration is and how it affects your vision.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is known for causing loss of central vision in both eyes, and it is also known as the leading cause of vision loss in people 65 years of age and older. AMD is known to progress slowly, but in some cases, it is known to advance at a quicker rate. Getting a yearly dilated eye exam is crucial in helping diagnose Age-Related Macular Degeneration early enough so that it can be treated properly.
Symptoms and Types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Some signs of Age-Related Macular Degeneration are:
Difficulty recognizing faces
Straight lines seem wavy
A dark, blind spot, appears in your central vision
Loss of central vision
When it comes to AMD, there are two different types. There is the Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration, and Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration, also known as atrophic AMD, is the most common form of the disease. In this instance, a gradually thinning of the cells in the macula occur and causes gradual vision loss.
Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration happens when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and leak fluid and blood into the macula. This form of ADM causes visual distortions and is known to progress rapidly.
Risk Factors for Developing ADM:
Age (People over the age of 50)
Family history of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
History of smoking
High Blood Pressure/ Cholesterol
Deficiency of vitamins prevalent
Diagnosing and Treating AMD
The only way to properly diagnose Age-Related Macular Degeneration is with a dilated eye exam. This is conducted by placing eyedrops that widen your pupil and allow the doctor to examine your optic nerve and retina.
There are no specific treatments for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration, but as mentioned previously, getting a yearly dilated eye exam, wearing UV protection sunglasses, and not smoking can help reduce the chances and advancements of AMD. When it comes to wet AMD, there are various treatments. For example, people who suffer from wet AMD can get laser surgery, injections and photodynamic therapy.
Schedule your FREE eye exam at a Stanton Optical location near you, to maintain optimal eye health and prevent the progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration!
Caring for Your Contact Lenses Properly
In today’s society, it is estimated that more than 220 million Americans wear some sort of corrective lens. Out of those 220 million Americans, over 37 million choose to wear contact lenses. With this astonishing number, we thought it would be beneficial to inform our customers how to properly care for and maintain contact lenses.
Learning to properly care for your contacts is beneficial in a variety of ways. One of the ways in which it is beneficial is that properly caring for your contact lenses can help prevent eye infections, which may cause blindness if not treated properly.
Eye infections from contact lenses may occur from the following:
Wearing contact lenses for an extended amount of time
Reduced tear exchange under the lens
Advancements in the medical field have made it easier to properly care for your contact lenses. Disposable contact lenses and one bottle care systems are a few of the ways in which caring for contact lenses has become easier. You should keep in mind that you should contact your eye doctor before making any changes to your contact lens cleaning regimen. Consulting your eye doctor before making changes to your contact lens cleansing regimen is important because some cleansing products are not compatible with each other, or with certain contact lenses. Using the wrong products can cause damage to your contact lenses and your eyes.
Properly Caring for Contact Lenses:
Make sure to wash your hands to ensure that you don’t transfer any dirt and germs into your eyes.
Remove one lens at a time and clean it with the recommended solution. Place the lens in the palm of your hand, drop a few drops of the solution on the lens and carefully rub the lens to remove any eye produced buildup, cosmetics and any other debris or particles that may reduce comfort.
Once again, rinse the lens to remove any debris. Make sure to rinse it for the recommended time.
Carefully place the lens in the clean lens case or preferred lens holder, and pour a couple drops of the fresh solution.
Repeat the same steps with the other lens.
Additional Care Tips:
In some cases, some additional solutions are needed. For example, if your eye deposits an excess amount of protein in your eye, you may benefit from a protein removal product. This may not be necessary if you change your contact lenses every day, but if you wear your contacts year round, it is recommended that you use a protein removal product.
If you notice that your eyes are dry and irritated, it is recommended that you get contact lens eye drops to lubricate your eyes.
If you happen to be one of the contact lens users who develops an allergy to contact lens solution, then you may want to consider purchasing products that are labeled as “preservative-free.”
Tips for Maintaining your Contact Lenses:
Minimize coming in contact with water while wearing your contact lenses. If not, remove your contact lenses before going into the water.
Do not rinse or store contact lenses in water.
Do not place your contact lenses in your mouth or rinse with saliva, as saliva is not a sterile solution.
Make sure to wear and replace contact lenses as prescribed.
Keep the storage case clean and replace it regularly (at least every 3 months). The cases can be a source of contamination and infection.
If you’re in need of new contact lenses or are thinking about getting contact lenses, stop by a Stanton Optical location near you and learn about the popular contact lens brands we offer!