Macular Degeneration: Can it be Prevented?

Thursday, December 15th, 2016, 6:37 am

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly population. AMD occurs when your central vision begins to diminish over time, eventually making it impossible drive, read or recognize familiar faces. While there isn’t currently a cure for AMD, there are several tips to consider to slow the progression of the disease.

  • Eat your vegetables. Particularly dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale and collard greens which contain high levels of lutein, an antioxidant crucial to your eye sight. Also up your intake of peppers, corn, red grapes and oranges.
  • Kick the habit. Smoking contributes to vascular disease in all parts of your body, including the blood vessels in your eye. It also contributes to poor circulation, which directly affects the degeneration of the retina when oxygen and nutrients are not delivered in a sufficient manner. If you smoke, look into a cessation program to help you quit.
  • Take vitamins and minerals. As you age, it becomes increasingly difficult to receive all the nutrients you need from just the food you eat. He may suggest supplementing your diet with vitamin C, vitamin E, betacarotene, zinc and copper. Talk to  your doctor about which supplements may be best for you.
  • Up your fish intake. Eating fish two to three times a week can help lower your risk for AMD because fish contain omega-3, an essential nutrient for your eyes. Consider eating more salmon, mackerel or sardines. If you’re not a fish fan, supplement your diet with fish oil capsule.
  • Exercise regularly. Cardiovascular exercise not only helps blood flow to the heart and lungs. It also helps pump blood to other parts of your body like the retina. Research suggests the those who lived an active lifestyle were significantly less likely to develop macular degeneration than those who did little or no exercise.
  • Keep up on eye exams. According to the American Academy of Opthalmology, you should have a dilated eye exam at least every two to three years if you’re between 45 and 60. After 60, you should have yearly exams. These can help your eye doctor detect AMD and help educate you on what you can do to slow the progression of the disease or receive proper AMD treatment if needed.

To learn more about age-related macular degeneration, or to schedule an appointment, please complete our convenient online contact form. For locations, click here to find a center near you.

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Category: Macular Degeneration


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