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What is Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of loss of vision in individuals aged 50 and above. AMD is characterized by a deterioration of the macula of the retina which is responsible for clear central vision.

Could it be Age Related Macular Degeneration?

The first signs of age related macular degeneration include blurriness or dark spots in the central vision. Because the symptoms typically come on at a slow pace without any pain, signs may not be perceived until more severe vision loss is apparent. This is why it is very important to book a routine eye examination, especially once you turn 65.

What are the Risk Factors for AMD?

A number of risk factors have been identified including being Caucasian, being over the age of 50, smoking and genetics. If you are at greater risk, annual eye examinations are essential. Learning about proper nutrition with your optometrist is also a good way to protect yourself.

Dry AMD vs. Wet AMD

In general, macular degeneration is usually categorized as either dry or wet. Dry macular degeneration is diagnosed more often and is theorized to be a result of aging and thinning of the macular tissues or pigment deposits in the macula. The wet form, also known as neovascular age related macular degeneration, is caused when new blood vessels grow beneath the retina which seep blood and fluid, killing the cells and creating blind spots. Typically wet macular degeneration causes more severe vision loss.

AMD Treatment

Although there are treatments that can delay the progression of macular degeneration, there is no cure at this time. Depending on the type of macular degeneration the course of treatment may involve UV 400 protection which is available in clear lenses and sunglasses options, nutritional supplements, laser surgery or medical injections. In all instances, early diagnosis and treatment is essential. An eye doctor may also be able to recommend devices to help you cope with any visual difficulty that you have already sustained. Vision loss that is not able to be corrected by the usual measures such as glasses, contacts or surgery is known as low vision. There are many low vision aids available today to help individuals to preserve self-sufficiency in daily activities.

Learn about the risk factors and symptoms of AMD before it's too late. Don't delay in scheduling an annual eye exam, particularly if you are 50 or older.

Thank you for trusting your eyecare with us over the years.  The Foresight Eyecare team follows the government mandate to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  After December 2020 announcements made by the Alberta Government, our clinic is following the revised Infection Prevention and Control policy by the Alberta College of Optometrists.

Patients interested in obtaining eye exam services or eye care products can be seen by appointment only.  Please call ahead, and staff will arrange an appointment time and ask COVID-19 screening questions.  If you have any symptoms of cough, fever, runny nose or shortness of breath, we ask that you call or e-mail us and do not attend the clinic for your scheduled visit.   Within the clinic, please wear a mask and use the hand sanitizer at reception.  Our clinic complies with the City of Calgary bylaw requiring mask covering over the age of two years old.  For patients who are unable to wear a face covering due to medical reasons, the patient can be scheduled for an appointment at a time when minimal number of other patients are in the clinic such as at the beginning or end of the day to ensure appropriate physical distancing requirements.

We are using disposable disinfectant wipes on all surfaces and devices such as front desk counters, chairs, handles in exam rooms and waiting room.  All eyewear that have been touched by patients are continually being sanitized.   Any toys and magazines are stored at this time.  Examination areas are being sanitized with hospital grade disinfectant.  Debit and credit cards but NO CASH payments will be accepted.

COVID-19 symptoms are not always obvious.  We want to fend off this pandemic and minimize risk to our patients and the Foresight staff as front line health workers.   Contact that is closer than 2 m (6 feet) is to be avoided, with barriers in place when this cannot be avoided. We choose to continue to do our work and cautiously take care of our patients with compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience.   It is a challenging and new experience for many of us, so let‘s support each other and prevent virus spread!  Beyond 2020, our focus is on take care of you and keeping Clean Hands, Clear Heads and Open Hearts.   For more information, please refer to the following web pages or phone Health Link 811.

Drs. Dianna Leong, Anh Bui, Andrew Chan