May is Macula Month
May is Macula Awareness Month
Macula month raises awareness of all macula diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease and other less common diseases of the macula.
This month, the Macular Disease Foundation are asking Australians “Are you at risk of macular disease?”. It is an opportunity for everyone in our community to get involved to reduce the incidence and impact of macular disease.
We thought we would list some risk factors for Macula Degeneration to help you be able to answer that important question:
Risk factors for Macular Degeneration
Below are a couple of links where you will find information on Macular Degeneration to give you a recap on the disease. The link to the md foundation’s website provides an excellent video explanation into what Macular degeneration is.
Macular Degeneration is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. These factors include age, smoking and a family history of the disease.
- Age: One in seven Australians over the age of 50 has some evidence of AMD. That’s 1.29 million people in Australia alone! If you are over 50 you are at an increased risk of macular degeneration
- Smoking: Not only does smoking increase your risk of developing Macular degeneration but it also puts you at risk of developing AMD five to ten years earlier than non-smokers! Smokers are also three to four times more likely to develop macular degeneration.
- Family History: If you have a direct family history of macular degeneration you have a 50% chance of developing the disease. Studies have shown that 70% of cases of AMD have a genetic link, therefor it is critical that if you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, you inform your family – children and siblings – so that they can monitor their eye health accordingly. As a direct family member of some one who has been diagnosed with macular degeneration you should be having annual eye examinations to ensure early detection if the disease develops.