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Understanding Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Understanding Age-Related Macular Degeneration

If your loved one is suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it is important to understand the disease. Having knowledge of the cause and symptoms as well as how to cope with the changes which may arise following an AMD diagnosis allows you to give your loved one an easy transition.

What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

AMD occurs if the macula is deteriorating. The macula is a small area located in the eye’s retina. If this light-sensitive tissue breaks down, a person will find it hard to see fine details. The reason is that the macula controls the central vision. So if your loved one has AMD, he may have a hard time reading small prints and identifying street signs.

Risk Factors

The aging process puts older adults at risk of AMD. But apart from aging, there are other factors that can increase a person’s chance of developing AMD. For instance, smoking puts a person at an increased risk of developing the condition. Also, family genetics and race are risk factors and studies have shown that Caucasians tend to be at greater risk than African-Americans. People with a family history of AMD also have a greater chance of developing AMD.

Symptoms of AMD

Being able to identity symptoms of the disease allows for early intervention. Your loved has AMD if:

  • He cannot focus on objects straight ahead.
  • He experiences frequent distortion of words, faces, objects and images.
  • He finds it difficult to read, drive and write.

Age-related macular degeneration can occur in one eye at first; however, it may migrate to the other over time. In case your loved one experiences symptoms of AMD, schedule an appointment with his doctor right away.

What you Can Do to Help

In case your loved one has been diagnosed with AMD, make sure assistance is available for him. The condition can be overwhelming for him at first. However, he will learn to manage it if he gets enough help. When assisting your loved one with his needs that can be affected by AMD, we have some tips for you.

  • Ask him what you can do for him. Try to give assistance in a way that won’t make your loved one feel helpless. Again, the situation can be initially overwhelming for him. What you can do is to assure him that you are there to help.
  • Give suggestions. Trying to force ideas and information to manage AMD may make your loved one feel dictated. Consider giving your opinions in a more suggesting fashion.
  • Suggest rehabilitation. If your loved one has been unable to do daily tasks due to AMD, suggest that you accompany him to a vision rehab center where he can be tested and given professional assistance.

In case your loved one needs help in coping with AMD, please call our home health agency in Chillicothe Ohio at 740-773-0063. Comfort and Care Health Services LLC can arrange home health services for him.

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