Macular Degeneration

Summary Content

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) represents a significant cause of vision impairment in individuals over 50, highlighting the importance of AMD and Low Vision Awareness Month in Canada. Early awareness, understanding risk factors, and preventive measures are essential in mitigating the risks associated with this condition. At Health Today, we emphasize the importance of proactive eye care from a young age to decrease the likelihood of AMD later in life, aligning with the Canadian Association of Optometrists' recommendations.


AMD affects the macula, the central part of the retina, leading to a decline in central vision. This condition can severely impact daily activities such as driving and reading, and while it may not lead to total blindness, it significantly affects quality of life by introducing "low vision." With advances in low vision aids, individuals with AMD can improve their ability to perform everyday tasks. Understanding the early signs, such as night vision difficulties, is crucial for timely intervention. 
AMD is categorized into two types

  • Dry AMD, marked by blurred vision and blind spots
  • Wet AMD, characterized by rapid and severe vision distortion due to leaking blood vessels

Risk factors include:

  • Age: Individuals over 60 are most likely to develop the disease however it can occur earlier.
  • Smoking: According to research smoking can double the risk of AMD.
  • Genetics and Family History: If AMD runs in your family you are at a higher risk. Scientists have also identified a number of particular genes that are associated with the disease.
  • Race: Caucasians are more likely to have AMD than those of Hispanic or African-American descent.
  • Lifestyle: Obesity, high cholesterol or blood pressure, poor nutrition, and inactivity all contribute to the likelihood of getting AMD. 

Did You Know Alberta Health Care Covers Eye Exams?

Ages 0-18: AHS covers one annual eye exam for all children. Additional coverage for medical needs is possible; speak with your optometrist for more.
Ages 19-64: Eye exams are not covered, but check with your insurance or our visit us at Health Today for possible billing options.
Ages 65+: AHS covers one annual eye exam, with potential additional coverage for specific medical conditions; speak with your optometrist for more.
Note: Urgent eye care and infections are covered*; no referral is needed. 
*Confirm any additional costs with our Optometrist before the appointment.


Preventive measures are critical in addressing AMD, especially for those at higher risk. Health Today advocates for:

  • Annual eye exams after 50
  • Quit smoking
  • Knowing your family medical history and informing your doctor 
  • A diet rich in "Eyefoods" and key nutrients, alongside regular exercise, contributes significantly to reducing AMD risks
  • Managing cholesterol and blood pressure, and considering dietary supplements under professional guidance, based on the AREDs and ARED2 studies, can help slow AMD progression
  • Use of UV-blocking sunglasses 

Awareness and healthy lifestyle choices are foundational in the fight against AMD, underscoring the collective effort required to spread knowledge about this condition and its impact.



At Health Today, our commitment extends beyond diagnosis and treatment. We focus on comprehensive AMD management, including education on risk factors, lifestyle modifications, and the latest advancements in treatment and low vision aids. Our personalized care plans are designed to slow AMD progression and improve quality of life, ensuring patients receive the support they need to navigate their condition effectively. Through collaboration, education, and advanced care, we strive to empower individuals to take charge of their eye health, fostering a community more informed and resilient against AMD.



Health Today is more than just an optometry clinic; it's a destination for those seeking the perfect blend of vision functionality and fashion flair. Our extensive range of eyeglasses and sunglasses, coupled with our expert guidance, ensures that you'll find the eyewear that not only corrects your vision but also reflects your personal style. Visit us today to explore our collections and enjoy a personalized eyewear shopping experience.

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