Although there currently isn't any cure for AMD/age-related macular degeneration, it's possible to do different things in order to reduce the risk of developing this disease. Especially when experiencing related AMD loss of vision.
This condition is the main cause for loss of vision and is irreversible in older patients who may slowly lose their central vision. As time goes by, older people might experience difficulty or even find it impossible to recognize faces that are familiar, to read or drive, as well as doing normal everyday tasks such as making the bed.
It's very important to take certain steps in preventing the disease. Especially when there is a family history that can put you at a higher risk to develop it.
Factors that can put you at risk to develop macular degeneration
Aging is the main reason for this disease
. Typically, it affects about a third of people that is older than seventy-five years.
Smoking may increase your chances to develop AMD up to 5 times higher compared to non-smokers. The reason for this is a reduction of oxygen because your retina needs consumption of oxygen. Thus, anything which might affect the delivery of oxygen to your retina will affect vision. With smoking, it can cause some oxidative damage and this will contribute to progression and development of the disease.
Family history within immediate family members can increase your risk to develop the disease as well.
Gender also plays an important role in AMD. Frequently, we find that more women are affected by the condition than men. This might be due to the fact that they normally live to a higher age than men, which leaves them with a longer time for developing this disease.
Race seems to be another factor, as Caucasians seem to be more prone to developing the condition than other different races. It might be caused by their different pigmentation and genetic backgrounds, yet, it is not determined.
Your diet is said to also increase the risk of developing AMD. This is seen with elevated cholesterol, fat, plus, foods high in glycemic, as well as low leafy green vegetables and antioxidants in a diet.
With foods high in glycemic, like pasta, white rice, and bread it increases your blood sugar quickly and increases your risk. On the other hand, foods lower in glycemic, like oatmeal or whole grain bread is said to lower your risk by stabilizing the levels of blood sugar.
Obesity is where your body fat measures over thirty and this can increase your risk by more than two times as found with people who have a lower body fat content.
If your blood pressure is high, it may cause narrowing of your blood vessels which nourish your retina, thus restricting the flow of oxygen. This can also be caused by smoking as mentioned above.
Light eye color in people might increase the risk of developing a dry kind of macular degeneration. It is typically caused by the eyes light-pigmentation that doesn't offer sufficient protection against damage from UV lights.
With inactivity, your retina may not get enough oxygen which can cause cells within your macula to die. Exercising will improve your cardiovascular health and it can assist in preventing the condition.
Heredity genes can also increase your risk to develop this disease. It's been found that many different genes are related to the reasons, like gene variations or mutations.
Different tips to prevent and protect your eye health against macular degeneration
These tips and suggestions can help in protecting your vision,
as well as improving your health overall. Some of them might lower your risk to develop macular degeneration, even when you may be affected by the disease already.
Follow these healthy habits:
It's very important to regularly go for exams of your eyes and also to consult the doctor when you notice changes in your vision.
Make sure to wear hats and sunglasses if you spend time outdoors.
You should exercise regularly.
Try to maintain blood pressure that is normal, as well as controlling different medical conditions you may have.
Eat a diet that is nutritious which should include leafy green vegetables, orange and yellow fruits, whole grains and fish.
Ensure to maintain a weight that is healthy.
Remember that prevention is always better than trying to cure your condition.
Consulting your eye doctor may help to keep you on the right path with certain recommendations and to detect issues before they become serious.