7 Ways to Prevent Macular Degeneration

December 14, 2016   |   7 Comments   |   1

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss among elderly people. What begins as a slow loss of central vision, over time, results in difficulty reading, driving and even recognizing the faces of loved ones. AMD not only makes doing everyday tasks impossible, it diminishes a person’s quality of life as well.

While there is no current cure for AMD, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing the disease and experiencing vision loss.

Quit Smoking

Without question, the number one thing you can do to prevent vision loss is to stop smoking. If you’re not a smoker, feel free to skip to the next section. If you ARE a smoker, continue reading to learn how smoking often leads to AMD.

According to a report published in the British Medical Journal, smokers are up to four times more likely than non-smokers to develop macular degeneration. In fact, in Great Britain alone, there are an estimated 53,900 elderly people who have AMD that can be attributed to smoking. Of those individuals, over 17,000 are legally blind.

Smoking inevitably leads to the death of blood vessels, negatively impacting the body’s ability to circulate blood efficiently. Whenever blood is unable to adequately feed the eyes, tissue dies and loss of vision is the result.

If you’ve thought about quitting smoking, now is the time.

Eat Plenty of Dark Leafy Greens

A study published by researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary reported that individuals who ate the most vegetables rich in carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin had a 43% lower risk of developing AMD.

With this in mind, you should begin eating more dark leafy greens like raw spinach, kale and collard greens.

Eat More Fish

There is also plenty of evidence that suggests eating fish on a regular basis is a key way to prevent macular degeneration.

For instance, a study at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary showed that senior men with the highest levels of fish consumption (more than two servings weekly) were 45% less likely to develop AMD than those who consumed less amounts of fish.

Similar findings occurred at The University of Sidney by Brian Chua and his researchers. They studied 2,900 people aged 49 or older and discovered that people who ate fish at least once a week were 40% less likely to develop AMD.

As you know, fish, especially cold water fatty fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel, are rich in essential omega-3s, and these fatty acids are powerful fighters of inflammation, which causes all pain and disease in the body.

Many of our readers have asked how they can gain the benefits of these omega-3s when they truly dislike the taste of fish. We always recommend taking a quality fish oil supplement that is pure, potent and tastes great. Find out which supplement can tick off all three of these boxes.

Stop Eating Refined Carbs

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that a diet high in refined carbohydrates increases a person’s risk of developing macular degeneration. Highly refined foods like white breads, cookies, crackers, cereals (most processed foods, really) have a high glycemic index, causing a rapid increase in blood sugar and insulin release.

Focus on eating more low glycemic index foods like most fruits, brown rice, multi-grain and whole grain breads instead. In general, a good rule of thumb for optimum health is to eat more whole foods and less (or no) processed, prepackaged foods.

Control Your Blood Pressure

Data from the Framingham Heart and Eye Studies and Beaver Dam Eye Study indicate a significant link between hypertension and the development of advanced, potentially blinding forms of macular degeneration.

Get Regular Eye Exams

It goes without saying that keeping your eyes healthy will require you get regular eye exams. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a dilated eye exam at least every two to three years if you’re between 45 and 60 and every year after the age of 60.

Regular eye exams will help your eye doctor detect AMD and monitor it so that you can receive proper AMD treatment, if appropriate, beyond these preventive measures.

Wear Sunglasses with UV & Blue Light Protection

Though there is no conclusive evidence that overexposure to the sun directly causes AMD, there are findings that suggest an association between cumulative eye damage from overexposure to both UV and high energy visible (HEV) or “blue” light.

To be on the safe side and to protect your eyes from any degeneration, it’s a good idea to wear sunglasses that protect against both UV and HEV light outdoors.

By following these steps, you’ll do everything in your power to protect your eyes from AMD.

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7 Comments

  1. Judy

    December 16, 2016 Reply

    We have some family history of AMD, I appreciate any information on this subject.

  2. David Huff

    December 15, 2016 Reply

    As you get older, your eyes become more oval shaped from looking straight forward so much. Driving, reading, computers, watching TV, ect. This also causes a loss of vision! It may help to exercise your eyes occasionally, by rolling them around in a circular motion. Ladies, you can roll your eyes at me, if you like!

  3. kathryn Benson

    December 15, 2016 Reply

    Yes I will share my thoughts.

  4. kathryn Benson

    December 15, 2016 Reply

    The only thing I don't take right now is fish oil. I do eat fish thought. I guess I need to start taking fish oil again.

  5. kathryn Benson

    December 15, 2016 Reply

    I have AMD and had it for several years now.. I can still see but my vision is getting dimmer. I take vitamins and have injections in my eyes and it scares me to death. Any help I can get I am grateful for. Thank you.

  6. Jawaherlal

    December 15, 2016 Reply

    Very interesting

  7. Mike Buono

    December 14, 2016 Reply

    I came down with wet MD in one eye 2 years ago & at age of 85. Being a combat war veteran I was treated at my nearest VA Medical Center who proceeded to stop the disease from progressing which included injections in the eye with Lucentis or Eylea medicines. I received these shots once a month at the beginning & because they have been so successful at stabilizing this disease I know have not received a shot for the last 6 month. While I still have the disease my eyesight has actually improved since my original diagnosis. My eye doctors are very pleased with my overall condition of MD. I might also point out that I have been taking an abundance of Vitamins (AARIDS2, & over 60 mg 's of Lutein daily). The VA has been marvelous with my treatment & am thankful to them

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