How To Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has become one of the common eye diseases among older people and those who age 50. In this eye condition, the macula which is the tiny spot present in the middle of the retina gets affected. The macula is responsible for a sharp and central.
The most common symptoms of AMD is a blurred area that develops near the central vision. As the condition progresses, this blurred area becomes larger or you may see some blank spots in the center of your vision.
What are the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration?
AMD can cause various symptoms that affects the routine activities of the patient. The signs and symptoms of macular degeneration include:
Visual field defect: Visual field is the wide angle of a vision that a normal eye can see. With AMD, this visual field becomes distorted and the patient gets difficulty in watching TV or driving or distinguishing faces.
Contrast sensitivity: The patient is unable to see the surfaces and the subtle changes that are in the environment.
Poor tolerance for shifting light levels: The patient is unable to see clearly when driving or when walking at sunset or when going from a room which is well-lighted to a room which is darker.
Need for advanced light levels: The patient start getting the need of a brighter light when doing routine activities such as cooking or reading or other tasks.
How to prevent age-related macular degeneration?
Fortunately, AMD can be prevented so that the progression of the disease can be slowed down. Read the below steps for macular degeneration prevention or for slowing down the progression of the disease:
1- Eat green leafy vegetables:
You need to contain plenty of dark, leafy green veggies – particularly raw spinach, kale, and collard greens – in your nutrition. This will aid you to get carotenoids or lutein and zeaxanthin which are significant for complete vision health. Likewise, eat lots of fruit and nuts to get essential vitamins like vitamin A, C, and E in your diet.
2- Eat fruits and nuts daily:
Consuming fruits and nuts in your daily routine helps in reducing the risk of AMD.
A study conducted in 2004 concluded that the participants who have given 3 or more servings of fruits daily showed the lower risk of advanced macular degeneration.
According to another study, eating nuts prevents the development of early or intermediate AMD to the advanced stages.
3- Get a balanced multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement:
Taking best vitamins for macular degeneration prevention along with minerals from a reliable source may be a good idea for many aims, including general eye wellbeing.
If a patient already has AMD, he/she should ask the ophthalmologist about the supplements for the macular health such as AREDS formulations.
4- Add fish in the diet or take a supplement of fish oil:
Consumption of fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines repeatedly can also help thwart macular degeneration. These are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which aid diminish swelling. If compulsory, you can take vitamins and minerals in supplement formula, but continuously refer your doctor first.
5- Limit the intake of the refined carbohydrates:
According to a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the diet that is high in refined carbs increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration. The examples of refined carbs include white bread, baked white potatoes, white rolls, pretzels, donuts, and watermelon.
The foods that are highly refined contain a high glycemic index that causes an increase in the insulin release and blood sugar level. So, these foods should be avoided that include spaghetti (especially of the whole wheat), multi-grain and whole grain bread, brown rice, carrot juice, and apple juice.
6- Don’t smoke:
When you are a smoker, it is time to abandon it. It is known to be a major risk factor for emerging macular degeneration. In a statement, smoking is the utmost important amendable risk factor for AMD development and advancement.
7- Exercise regularly & maintain a healthy weight:
A study in the “British Journal of Ophthalmology” concluded that regular exercise reduces the risk of macular degeneration.
The benefits of exercise are countless, including dropping your risk of evolving AMD. If you do not work out, fatty plaque deposits can transpire in the macular vessels. It can hinder blood flow and surge the risk of AMD.
8- Keep control of blood pressure and cholesterol:
Controlling the level of cholesterol helps to protect you from AMD. Cholesterol is actually a fatty substance that can build up in the blood vessels and inhibit the normal flow of blood that is necessary for the health of eye tissue.
Similarly, controlling the blood pressure also helps to prevent AMD. A study concluded that there is a considerable link between high blood pressure and the development of advanced especially the blinding forms of the macular degeneration.
9- Wear sunglasses when going outside:
Wearing sunglasses when going outside helps to block the UV and blue light that may cause damage to the eye. It is a familiar fact that contact to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can cause skin damage, but such contact can also surge the risk of macular degeneration and other eye conditions.
10- Go always for regular eye exams:
Lastly, a regular eye exam greatly helps in preventing not only AMD but also various other types of eye diseases. If you have any problem while seeing things or with your vision then an eye doctor can easily dig out the underlying cause and so an eye condition like AMD or any other is diagnosed timely.
According to American Academy of Ophthalmology, it is recommended that you should have a dilated eye exam at least every 2-3 years if you are in the middle of 45 and 60 and annually after the age of 60.
By following these simple and very much useful ways, you can prevent not only age-related macular degeneration but also various other vision challenges. If you are having AMD already, these preventive measures also help you in stopping or slowing down the progression of the disease. But you should keep continuing the macular degeneration treatment as recommended by your eye doctor.