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Look out for your employees’ health with vision plans that help them see well and be well. In observance of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month, we’re shining a light on AMD, one of the leading causes of vision loss for older adults. We’re sharing the basics of AMD, its risk factors, and the importance of early detection via an annual eye exam. AMD can greatly impact your employees’ lives, may have no early symptoms, and can progress at varying rates.
Macular degeneration, commonly known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), occurs when a part of the retina called the macula, which controls your central vision, is damaged. Central vision is vital for your employees to see clearly and perform everyday tasks like reading and driving a car. Want to see what it looks like to experience macular degeneration? Check out our Eye Disease Simulator.
AMD comes in two forms: dry and wet. Most individuals with AMD have dry AMD, which is when the macula gradually gets thinner. Wet AMD is a less common, but more rapid, late-stage form that is preceded by dry AMD. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “most dry forms of AMD do not progress to the wet form, but the wet form can lead to severe and permanent loss of central vision.”
Blurring of central vision, noticing that straight lines look wavy, and difficulty seeing in low light can all be signs of AMD. If you experience a rapid deterioration or loss of central vision, you should visit your VSP network eye doctor immediately, as this may be a sign of wet AMD.
According to The National Eye Institute, your employees’ risk for AMD increases as they age, especially if they are Caucasian, have a family history of AMD, or smoke. Your employees can reduce their risk of getting AMD by quitting smoking, having a healthy lifestyle, and lowering cholesterol.
While there is no known cure for AMD, eye doctors can help identify early warning signs of the eye disease during your employees’ annual eye exam and determine treatment options to help alleviate the effects. You and your employees with VSP can schedule an annual eye exam with a VSP network doctor, who can detect macular degeneration potentially before you are even aware of it.
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Information received through VSP Vision Care channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your eye doctor, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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