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Ocular Risk Factors

There are known and proven ocular (eye-related) risk factors for AMD.

Ocular Risk Factors

Risk factors for visually consequential AMD can be described as ocular and non-ocular.  These risk factors are known and established according to the scientific literature.

Visually consequential AMD in one eye

Visually consequential AMD in one eye is a major risk factor for developing visually consequential AMD in the other eye.

Soft drusen

Soft drusen are yellow or white deposits in the macular area, visible to an eyecare professional using specialised equipment. Soft drusen are known to represent risk for visually consequential AMD.

Pigmentary changes at the macula

Pigmentary changes at the macula are known to represent significant risk for visually consequential AMD. Hyper-pigmentary changes refer to areas of pigment clumping, and hypo-pigmentary changes refer to areas of depigmentation, within the macula.

Macular pigment

Macular pigment is a yellow pigment found at the macula, composed of the dietary carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin. There is a growing body of evidence that macular pigment, which is entirely of dietary origin, may play a role in the prevention, or delay in the onset or progression, of visually consequential AMD. Recent research has shown that people at increased risk of developing visually consequential AMD have low levels of this pigment even before the disease occurs. Macular pigment can be supplemented with nutritional dietary supplements.

Hypermetropia

Hypermetropia, known as long-sightedness, is a suggested risk factor for visually consequential AMD.

Iris colour

Light iris colour is a suggested risk factor for visually consequential AMD.

History of cataract surgery

There is some, albeit conflicting, evidence that prior cataract surgery is associated with increased risk of visually consequential AMD.