Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Macular Degeneration is Coming to the Boomers

Here they come! The Baby Boom Generation is entering the 65+ age group. It's likely that everything we have seen happen to their parents and grandparents will also happen to the Baby Boomers.

A recent study was published looking at the incidence (how frequent) of Macular Degeneration in a group of people who have been followed for generations. 9.8%, almost 10 PERCENT of individuals in the Beaver Dam Offspring study who were over 65 years of age had some form of macular degeneration.

So, what does that mean for the Baby Boom Generation. Well, unless there is a breakthrough in preventative medicine roughly 10% of the 65 million Boomers will get some form of macular degeneration by the time they are over 65. 6.5 million cases of macular degeneration will need treatment.

It turns out that early detection and careful follow-up are very important when it comes to saving vision when macular degeneration is the problem. The biggest risk factors are 1) Family History 2) Gender: woman get it more than men 3) Eye color: it's more common in people with light colored eyes, and 4) Smoking. In other words, the only risk factor you can make a big difference in is smoking. That's a pretty good reason to quit!

Everyone over the age of 60 should probably have an annual exam, but if you have a family history or macular degeneration why not make an appointment at Skvysion and get checked out!

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