Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in adults aged 50 and older. February is AMD and Low Vision Awareness Month and also commemorates White Cane Week in Canada. Awareness about the disease, the risk factors and prevention are critical, even for younger generations because taking care of your eyes while you are young will help to reduce the risks later on in life.

Understanding AMD

AMD is a disease that damages the macula, which is the center of the retina responsible for sharp visual acuity in the central field of vision. The breakdown of the macula eventually results in the loss of central vision and can occur in one eye or both eyes simultaneously. While AMD doesn’t result in complete blindness, the quality of vision is severely compromised leading to what we refer to as “low vision”.

The loss of central vision can interfere with the performance of everyday tasks such as driving, reading, writing, cooking, or even recognizing faces of friends and family. The good news is, there are many low vision aides on the market now that can assist in helping you to perform these tasks. 

There are two types of AMD, wet and dry.

Dry AMD is the most common form of the disease. It is characterized by blurred central vision or blind spots, as the macula begins to deteriorate. Dry AMD is less severe than the wet form but can progress to wet AMD rapidly.

Wet AMD is when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow under the retina and leak fluid and blood into the macula, causing distortions in vision. Wet AMD can cause permanent scarring if not treated quickly, so any sudden blur in vision should be assessed immediately, especially if one is aware that they have AMD.

Are You at Risk?

The biggest risk factor for AMD is age. Individuals over 60 are most likely to develop the disease however it can occur earlier.
 

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Additional risk factors include
 

  • Smoking: According to research smoking can double the risk of AMD.
  • Genetics and Family History: If AMD runs in your family you are at a higher risk. Scientists have also identified a number of particular genes that are associated with the disease.
  • Race: Caucasians are more likely to have AMD than those of Hispanic or African-American descent.
  • Lifestyle: Obesity, high cholesterol or blood pressure, poor nutrition, and inactivity all contribute to the likelihood of getting AMD. 

3 locations to serve you

Blink Eyewear operates no fewer than 3 convenient locations across Calgary. Our clinics in Creekside, West Springs, and Crowfoot are all outfitted with experienced optometrists and opticians, the latest optometry instruments, and a wide range of brand frames. Whether you are shopping for a new pair of glasses, getting an eye exam, or treating a severe eye condition, visit any of our 3 clinics for an eye-popping experience.

In addition to our physical stores, we also offer telehealth services so that you can ensure your ocular health from the comfort of your home!

Prevention of AMD

If you have risk factors, here is what you can do to prevent or slow the progression of AMD:

  • Regular eye exams; once a year especially if you are 50 or over.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Know your family history and inform your eye doctor.
  • Proper nutrition and regular exercise: Research indicates that a healthy diet rich in “Eyefoods” with key nutrients for the eyes such as orange peppers, kale, and spinach as well as regular exercise may reduce your risks or slow the progression of AMD.
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure. 
  • Dietary supplements: Studies by the National Eye Institute called AREDs and ARED2 indicated that a high dosage of supplements of zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and lutein may slow the progression of advanced dry AMD (it is not recommended for those without AMD or early AMD).  Speak to a doctor before taking these supplements because there may be associated risks involved. 
  • Wear 99% -100% UV-blocking sunglasses.

The first step to eye health is awareness. Help us to spread the word about this debilitating disease and the importance of choosing a healthy lifestyle.

Our Eye Treatments

Outstanding vision care across Calgary

Outstanding vision care across Calgary

Blink Eyewear is the largest provider of vision services and care in Calgary, operating no fewer than 3 accessible locations across the region. All of our stores are inventoried with the most sought-after designer and commercial frames and eyewear for all occasions and purposes. 

Home to experienced optometrists and opticians, our stores also offer comprehensive eye exams to individuals of all ages, emergency eye care, and the treatment and management of eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Your all-in-one source for everything vision related

Blink Eyewear boasts the largest collection of eyewear in Calgary, but our 3 locations are also home to the region’s finest optometrists. Just as you will not find a better store to shop for your eyewear, you will not find a better vision clinic to do your eye exam or treat your eye condition. 

Go ahead and Blink; what you see is really what you get. Call one of our store numbers or fill out the form below to book an appointment.

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