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Macular Degeneration Causes and Risk Factors

Macular Degeneration Causes and Risk Factors
Macular Degeneration
Causes and Risk Factors

Causes of macular degeneration
Scientists are still not sure what causes age related macular denegration, especially dry AMD.  However, there might be a relationship between age related macular degeneration and drusen.  Drusen are yellow deposits under the retina often found in people over the age of 60. Drusen alone do not usually cause vision loss, however, an increase in the size or number of drusen raises a person's risk of developing either advanced dry AMD or wet AMD. These changes can cause serious vision loss.

Risk factors
The greatest risk factor for developing the condition is age. Although AMD may occur during middle age, studies show that people over age 60 are clearly at greater risk than other age groups. Other risk factors include:

Ethnicity - Caucasians are much more likely to lose vision from AMD than African Americans.

Family history - people with immediate family members diagnosed with AMD are at a higher risk of developing the disease

Gender - women appear to be at greater risk than men

Smoking - smoking may increase the risk of AMD.

Obesity - research suggest a link between obesity and the progression of early and intermediate stage AMD to advanced AMD

To reduce risk of developing AMD, you can eat a healthy diet high in green leafy vegetables and fish and exercise regularly.  Maintaining normal blood pressure and watching weight can also help.  But how can you tell if blurred vision is a sign of early AMD?  And if you do develop macular degeneration, what are some of the early symptoms?  To learn more about symptoms of age related macular degeneration, continue reading.  Our next section on Symptoms of AMD will alert you to the signs and symptoms of macular degeneration of the eye.

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