Australians Underestimate Role Family History Plays In Coming Down With AMD

by Admin on May 26, 2012

Many Australians tend to unaware of the link between family history and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a survey cited on NewsMaker.

The article, which was based on research published to commemorate Macular Degeneration Week running from 27 May t0 2 June, added that AMD happens to be the primary cause of blindness and vision impairment in Australia.

Dr. Jan Coetzee, from Eyecare Plus / Insight Optometrists, said in the article that Australians who are part of the at-risk group, those older than 50 who have a history of AMD in the family, should get their eyes and macula looked at. Dr. Coetzee added that family history is as much a risk factor in AMD cases as it is in breast cancer and heart disease cases. According to the article, Dr. Coetzee also said that Australians should not accept the false idea that AMD is merely part of the package that comes with getting older. So those who sense that their vision has been somehow compromised ought to check in with an eye care specialist sooner rather than later, Dr. Coetzee noted.

According to the aforementioned national survey, 71% of Australians were unable to accurately identify the connection between family history and the odds of coming down with AMD.  Meanwhile, research demonstrates that people whose family history includes AMD were 50% more likely to develop the eye condition than were those whose family history did not include AMD.

The survey,which was commissioned by the Macular Degeneration Foundation, also demonstrated that approximately 2.1 million Australians who were more than 50 years old did not understand that having a mother or father with AMD upped their odds of coming down with the eye ailment. Moreover, one in three Australians were under the false impression that AMD among the elderly population is simply a normal part of life.

Julie Heraghty, chief executive officer of the Macular Degeneration Foundation, said in the article that there are things Australians can do to lessen their chances of developing AMD. Some simple things that can make a big difference, explained Heraghty, include going in for an eye exam, opting for healthy lifestyle practices, and eating things life fish and leafy green produce.

Reference: http://www.newsmaker.com.au/news/16988

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