AMD is a genetic disease, meaning that it runs in families. Having a first-degree relative (mother, father, brother, sister) with AMD suggests that you have a significantly increased risk of developing the disease. However, some individuals are ‘carriers’ of a gene, without actually expressing its trait. Consider a child born with blue eyes when both parents have brown eyes. Both parents are carriers of a gene for blue eyes, yet neither expresses it. Similarly, it is still possible to inherit and develop AMD even if neither parent has the disease.
What is Macula Risk?
Macula Risk® is a test that determines your genetic risk of losing your vision from Age-Related Macular Degeneration or AMD. It uses a sample of your DNA taken from the inside of your cheek with a swab to detect the presence of certain genetic markers that are known to be indicators for vision loss.
Once the test has been performed, your genotype, along with smoking status, is combined into a risk calculation to place you into one of five different risk categories. As seen in the table below, catagories MR1 and MR2 have a 2.5% and 9.5% respectively of developing advanced AMD. Patients in catagories MR3-MR5 have a mcuh greater chance of developing severe disease. Your eye doctor in Mesa or Glendale, AZ will use this information to help determine which preventative measures and therapeutic interventions best suit your individual needs. Consider Macula Risk® as a crystal ball; it allows a peak into one's future affording doctors the opportunity to provide the best possible care for those at highest risk of developing advanced AMD.
Risk categories 3, 4, and 5 represent those individuals with a greater risk of vision loss from AMD than the general population.
If you have early signs of AMD contact our eye care practices in Glendale, Mesa or Phoenix, AZ regarding Macula Risk®, regardless of your known family history. In addition, let your family members know so that they can speak with their optometrist to determine if measures such as more regular eye examinations or testing with Macula Risk® are appropriate.
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