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Most people understand that this speaks to a disease that contributes the eventual destruction of the Retinal Elements dealing with our Central 20 degrees of very fine discriminate vision. The person would over time note a blurring of vision related to reading, which eventually may manifest as distortion of vertical or horizontal lines when reviewing print. A Generalized grey spot in ones central vision and a dropping off of colour vision. The C.N.I.B. as do all other organizations rank Macular Degeneration as the leading cause of sight loss in Seniors (55 yrs)for U.S. purposes (60yrs) for Canada. 55% of the visitations to the C.N.I.B. are related to Macular Degeneration. The C.N.I.B. pegs Macular Degeneration as slightly below 2Million; they have its computed number doubling by 2031. Also important 90% is of the Dry designation, while 10% is Wet. So 6% of Canada’s population has Macular Degeneration. Of that 2 million persons with Early or Intermediate Macular Degeneration, 20% are at risk of advancing on to significant vision loss. Applying the same Extrapolation to Canadian data where 15 Million U.S. Macular Degeneration cases grows to 2 Million New Cases a year; we can expect 260,000 new cases a year as our genetics, dietary lifestyle, and environment is similar to our American cousins except we receive a lot less sunshine. When you throw out these stats you have not included persons who have Macular changes associated with High Myopia Progressive Macular changes. It should be noted they also are difficult Glaucoma risk candidates owing to sceral canal morphology changes and need to be reviewed ongoing as myopia ascends in degree.
So workable stats wise if you have a healthy appearing retina and are < 60, the like hood of Mac D’s. Changes are < than 1 % and at 80 this climbs to 23%. BUT if you exhibit Drusen or Pigmentary Changes at an age < 60 when you reach 80 years of age 43% of those 80 year old retinas will exhibit Macular Changes. Experts have macular degeneration to have approximately a 60 to 70 % inheritance factor where as in Glaucoma fewer genes have been located so inheritance factor is around 15% at the moment. We can test for Genetic markers in a Siliva sample to gain a suggested insight as to the eventual penetrance of the disease course but can do nothing to alter the Genetics at presence. So until Human trials are available what we need to concentrate on is weight control or more specifically Body Mass Index (BMI), Blood Pressure management or more exactly Arterial Pulse Pressure; the difference between Highest Systolic and Lowest Diastolic pressure. If this is greater than 60 mm hg the rate of Mac D. can be seriously advanced. Smokings according to the CNIB can double Mac D’s realization. With a known Genetic predisposition for Mac D. smoking apparently by one source increases realization for wet mac degeneration advance 3.75 times). From Good Hope Eye England a cigarette makes things 15% worse this must be per day and 20 a day makes it worse by 360%. Cholesterol levels in the Blood is an operative factor as is U.V. light. According to Good Hope Eye Cholesterol should be 4.5, better would be 3.5. Walk 2 hours a day. Over weight makes Dry Mac D. worse also. BP should be under 140 (Good Hope) UV. Intensity and duration has as an effect on carotenoid levels as an exasperating factor. These can be supplemented with a product depending on the now classification or state of a person’s Macular Degeneration. It is the O.D. who is the Expert on what is the correct U.V. protection and what pre made Sunglasses glasses fail to protect. Naturally the O.M.D. like the O.D. can advice about Carotenoids but probably is stretched for time. Your O.D. who practices Medical Model Optometry is up to date regarding such Eye care and should prove a correct source for product. These latter two mentioned entities are not totally understood in terms of direct connection to Macular Degenerations advance.
Too often persons go about their lives without adequate U.V. protection possibly they reject the correlation between Cataracts and Macular Degeneration and unfiltered U.V. light. Agree that the U.V. rays reaching the Earth are increasing and you will not discount the suggestion that the 1/4 of 40+ year olds will demonstrate some level of Cataract formation by year 2031 if Environmental Control measures are not adjusted. You should know that the Optometrist is the expert on recommending U.V. protective measures. When the likely hood for all Macular Changes triple after age 70 affecting Caucasion females slightly over males all efforts towards detection, dietary modulation to provide required nutrients, discouraging a sedentary life style free of harmful excessive exogenous factors like too much alcohol , cigarettes and unfiltered U.V. light should be the Rule as should yearly Eye Examinations over age 40.
Smoking looks so Hot but it hastens your death and does fast track genetically coded eye diseases leading to more measured levels of irreversible vision loss!
Preservation and Maintenance of Vision is Precious at any age.
Doctor McRoberts: “No arguments there, after all it’s my day job!”