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Macular Degeneration

Age is the greatest risk factor

(HealthDayNews) -- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a relatively common eye disease that gradually destroys a person's vision. In some people, AMD advances so slowly that their vision is barely affected as they age. In others, however, the disease is faster-moving and affects their eyesight significantly.

According to the National Eye Institute, the greatest risk factor is age, especially for people over 60.

Other risk factors include:

  • Gender -- Women tend to be more prone to AMD than men.
  • Race -- Whites are much more likely to experience vision loss than blacks.
  • Smoking -- Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco may increase the risk of AMD.
  • Family History -- People with an immediate family member with AMD are more at risk.

The most common first sign of AMD is blurred vision. Regular eye exams can help detect any problem in its early stages.

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