Age-Related Macular Degeneration Drops by a Third

by Lois Etienne on February 4, 2011

in Senior Health and Safety

Q.    My husband has been suffering from macular degeneration for the past five years. Is there any positive news on the horizon about this disease? What are ways that he can cope with this dreaded condition?

There is some good news just out. The percentage of people with age-related macular degeneration has dropped by a third in the past 15 years, possibly because of a decrease in smoking – a known cause of the disease.

The overall prevalence of AMD among adults age 40 and older was an estimated 6.5 percent, which represented a decrease from the 9.4 percent reported in a 1988 to 1994 survey. The estimated prevalence of late (more advanced) AMD was 0.8 percent.

Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 and older. It is a disease that destroys sharp, central vision, which is needed to see objects clearly and to complete such important tasks as reading and driving.

“Despite new medical and surgical interventions, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) remains an important cause of vision loss in the United States,” the authors write as background information in the article.

“The decreasing prevalence of AMD may reflect recent change in the frequency of smoking and other exposures such as diet, physical activity and blood pressure associated with AMD,” according to the study.

While this news may not be of direct benefit to your husband, it does bode well for future seniors who can alter their lifestyle in an effort to help prevent this disease.

Check with your husband’s ophthalmologist to determine the best way to manage your husband’s AMD. If he needs help around the house with tasks that he can no longer do or, if he needs transportation to appointments or to the store, consider contacting Home Instead Senior Care of Spokane and the Greater Seattle, WA area.

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