On Saturday, an ophthalmologist with the Macular Degeneration Association explained exactly what AMD is to some people at a special conference in Albemarle County.

Saturday, June 22nd 2019, 7:31 PM EDT Reported by Lottye Lockhart

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) – A special visit from a nonprofit at the DoubleTree in Albemarle County is helping patients understand more about the loss of vision as they get older.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a fairly common eye disease that can blur vision, and if left untreated, lead to a complete loss of vision. The Macular Degeneration Association is working to make more people aware of this growing problem.

“The big thing is that this is a very prevalent condition for seniors,” said Larry Hoffheimer, chairman and founder of the Macular Degeneration Association.

People who are over 50 have a higher risk of suffering from AMD. On Saturday, an ophthalmologist with the Macular Degeneration Association explained exactly what that is to some people at a special conference in Albemarle County.

“I always take a step back and kind of make sure everybody’s on the same playing field. I like to put up a picture of the eye and just go through the basic anatomy of the eye and just explain all the different parts of the eye first,” said Joshua Mali, medical director.     

The macula is part of the eye that allows people to see in detail.

The Macular Degeneration Association stopped by the DoubleTree Hotel in hopes of letting more people know about the disease, what they can do to stop it from progressing, and how to live with low vision.

“I’m a victim of it myself and it’s only because I had early detection that I did not lose my vision and that’s what we’re trying to get other people,” said Hoffheimer.

Eating healthy, not smoking, and having laser therapy are some options available for people to treat AMD. The most important thing though is having an open conversation with a doctor about it.

“I know as a practicing physician the appointments are very busy and sometimes patients don’t have the time to get their questions answered. This is just a great opportunity for me to kind of have that opportunity to spend with patients,” said Mali.

The conference on Saturday was just one stop on the Macular Degeneration Association’s national tour.

If you’re concerned you may suffer from this disease, experts advise you to speak to your eye doctor.

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