A leading cause of vision loss in older Americans is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a progressive condition brought on by the deterioration of the retina. AMD can severely damage vision, affecting everything from reading to driving.
Currently, there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration
There are medications and treatments, such as laser eye therapy, that have been shown to help. And while there’s also no proven way to avoid the condition, there are ways proven to reduce your risk of developing it or delay its onset.
1.) Don’t smoke
It’s been shown to triple the risk of developing AMD.
2.) Pay attention to your heart health
Anything that could increase your risk for developing cardiovascular disease could increase your risk of developing AMD. Controllable risk factors include high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, tobacco use and lack of regular exercise.
3.) Eat healthier
Data varies on the impact of nutrients on macular degeneration, but a proper diet that includes lots of fruits and green, leafy vegetables will help control your weight (risk factor) and could contribute to lowering your risk of developing AMD.
4.) Have regular eye exams
Early detection and treatment can help delay the progression of the disease, so visit your eye doctor once a year for a complete exam. This is particularly important if macular degeneration runs in your family, as there is a genetic link to the disease. If you have a family history, you may be more likely to develop it at a younger age, and you may be more likely to develop late-stage AMD.
In the near future, we may be able to end macular degeneration
There is still a lot of work to be done, but someday, macular degeneration may be preventable. Promising research has shown that a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease may prove to help reduce the risk of getting AMD and delay its onset. But as science and research studies continue to seek ways to prevent macular degeneration in the future, you can take steps now to lower your risk. Call for your eye exam appointment today: (352)-237-8400.