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Q: I’m getting older and starting to notice severe vision loss? What could be causing it?

Posted February 05, 2014 in Advice Column, Johnston

A: “One of the largest issues that we start to see when people start to get older is called age-related macular degeneration or AMD,” Dr. Matthew Howie says.

“AMD gradually takes away central vision. It goes after the macula, which is the central area of the retina, and can take away all detailed vision. Central vision is necessary to be able to read, drive or even be able to recognize faces,” Dr. Howie continues.

Dr. Howie says the worst part of AMD is that there are no symptoms. Patients don’t know they have it until their vision becomes severely impaired.

“AMD is one of the large reasons that we brought in our OCT Retinal Imaging in the past year,” explains Dr. Howie. “This device allows us to get a clear image of the macula so that we can detect early signs of AMD and start treatment right away.”

Information provided by Dr. Matthew Howie, O.D., Total Family Eye Care, 1451 S.E. Third St., Suite 400 Grimes, 986-1234,,

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