Risk Factors I Can't Control
Some of the things that contribute to macular degeneration include your family history and age. While you can’t control these risk factors, it’s important to know about them.
- Age - AMD signs are present in about 14% of people 55 - 64, 20% of age 65 - 75 year olds and up to 37% of people over age 75.
- Gender - AMD is more common in women than in men. This partially may be explained by the fact that women live longer than men.
- Race - AMD is more common in Caucasians than other races. This partially may be due to the pigment in the eye or eye color. It may also have to do with differing diets and sun exposure.
- Eye Color - AMD is more common in people with blue eyes. This may be related to damage associated with exposure to ultraviolet light. Blue eyed people may have less protective pigment in their eyes.
- AMD in One Eye - If you already have AMD in one eye, your chance of developing it in the other eye is higher. Dry AMD in one eye may predispose you to wet AMD in the other eye.
- Genetics - If others in your family have macular degeneration, you have a greater risk of developing it. Because of some research in the last two years, we now have a better understanding of which genes and sections of genes increase your risk. If you have one of these genes or complement factors and you smoke, you are increasing your risk as much as 200 fold!