MIAMI,. Feb. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- February is Age-related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness month, providing an opportunity to inform and educate the public on the leading cause of vision loss for adults over the age of 65. Today, over 15 million of these adults suffer from age-related macular degeneration, a number that is expected to grow considerably as the baby boomer generation begins heading into retirement age. While the risks are growing, awareness and education is key to treating and saving the eyesight of millions.
World-renowned ophthalmologist, Dr. Salomon Melgen urges at-risk Americans to prevent age-related eye problems by having regular eye exams, and to talk with their eye doctors about low-vision rehabilitation if they have visual impairments. Because the progression of macular degeneration tends to be slow, patients often ignore the initial warning signs or wait until their vision has become severely deteriorated to come in for an office visit. "Early diagnosis and treatment can delay or halt the progression of macular degeneration," Dr. Melgen assures.
Typical symptoms include fuzzy or blurred areas, distorted lines and wavy edges, faded color vision, difficulty reading and recognizing faces, vision that varies day-to-day, or dark spots in your central vision. According to Dr. Melgen, "an ophthalmologist may be able to detect early signs of the disease before symptoms appear. Therefore, it is very important to have regular eye examinations to detect AMD." Fortunately, there are techniques that enable physicians to detect the presence of an eye disease, even in the absence of symptoms, allowing for early treatment that staves off future vision deterioration.
Additional preventive measures that can be taken include not smoking, eating healthy, staying active, controlling your blood pressure and protecting your eyes from the sun.
About Dr. Salomon Melgen
Dr. Salomon Melgen is a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Over twenty years ago when there were few options for patients suffering from macular degeneration he was determined to aggressively treat patients with this disease. Dr. Melgen trained at Harvard Medical School, becoming chief of his program while specializing in diseases of the vitreous and retina. He became the first surgeon to perform outpatient retina surgery in South Florida and pioneered laser therapy for retinal diseases. For the past three consecutive years Dr. Melgen has been the recipient of the Patients' Choice Award, accorded to less than 6% of the nation's 720,000 active physicians, for consistently receiving the highest rankings directly from his patients.
SOURCE Dr. Salomon Melgen