Visit our 2 convenient locations!

5900 Heckert Rd.
P.O. Box 324
Bakerstown, PA 15007
724-443-6767 Phone
724-443-6730 Fax

4001 Freeport Rd.
Natrona Heights, PA 15065
724-226-0444 Phone
724-226-0744 Fax


Signs And Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

February is national Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) awareness month and we want to share with you the signs, symptoms, and treatments of the eye disease. Know what to look for and how you can treat AMD.

According to Hopkins Medicine, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people above the age of 50. AMD causes damage to the macula, a spot near the center of the retina. This disease blurs the sharp, central vision you need for “straight-ahead” activities such as reading, sewing, and driving. AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail.

The rate at which damage can be done can vary. In some people, it is a slow process over years. While with others it occurs more quickly and can also involve both eyes. While Age-related Macular Degeneration does not result in complete vision loss it can interfere with activities of daily living.

There are two main forms of AMD: dry and wet. Dry AMD is the most common form and progresses slowly over time. It is characterized by a gradual loss of central vision due to the thinning of the macula and the accumulation of deposits called drusen. Wet AMD is a more severe form of the disease, which occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the macula, causing bleeding and fluid accumulation. This form of AMD can lead to rapid vision loss.

Who is more susceptible to developing AMD? Can your lifestyle have an influence as to your chances of developing AMD? As we discussed, people over the age of 50 are most likely to develop this disease.

Risk Factors for Age-Related Macular Degeneration:

  • Research shows that smoking doubles the risk of developing AMD.
  • Family history. If your family history includes AMD you are at a higher risk.
  • AMD is more common in Caucasians than in other races.

You have the power to take control of your health. These tips are things you can do to help prevent AMD.

Prevention Tips for Age-Related Macular Degeneration:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in leafy veggies and fish.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Maintain proper vitals such as blood pressure and cholesterol.

AMD is best detected by maintaining routine eye exams. Often people question why dilation is part of a regular exam. This allows us to look into the back of your eyes for any changes that may be occurring.

While there is no cure for this disease, things such as changing your diet and adding proper exercise can help to slow down the loss of vision. You have the power to choose. Take control and choose a healthier lifestyle.  Schedule your annual exam today by calling 724-443-6767 or 724-226-0444. Your eyes will thank you for it.

 About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more Information, visit or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.