Age-related macular degeneration is a very serious eye condition that can threaten your vision and overall health. The disease affects the macula within the retina and central vision, gradually reducing your vision and minimizing your ability to read, drive, recognize faces, and more. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss among senior citizens.
Here are several tips from our team of eye care professionals about preventing macular degeneration:
Familiarize yourself with your family history – we know this can be tricky, but it is important!
Your family’s medical history will be valuable to preventing macular degeneration. You are at a higher risk of developing age-related macular degeneration if one of your primary relatives has had it. When you have a family history of AMD, it is imperative to take the necessary preventative measures to reduce your own risk of developing the condition. Plus, you need to be vigilant in recognizing and managing potential symptoms.
Stop Smoking now!
If you smoke, it is time to quit. If you don’t smoke, it is important to never start. Smoking can double your chances of developing macular degeneration. Smoking exposes you to a variety of dangerous chemicals and free radicals, all of which can cause damage to the cells and prevent essential nutrients from getting to the retina.
Greens, and more greens, eat them as often as you are able.
Leafy greens like kale and spinach are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. Other foods to add to your diet include those that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, such as egg yolk, orange/yellow peppers, broccoli, squash, grapes, and kiwi. Don’t forget to add fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel.
These nutrients are essential at protecting your body against free radical-related cellular damage, which is known to be associated with eye disease, including AMD. Overall, a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables will minimize your chances of developing macular degeneration.
Of course, wear quality sunglasses! We all know that, right?
When you head outside, you need to protect your eyes from UV ray damage. Extended exposure to the sun can cause damage to the retina. It is recommended to wear a pair of sunglasses that are equipped with the UV 400 label.
A routine eye exam is the best way to catch age-related macular degeneration early before it has a chance to develop or worsen.
Contact us at Maple Grove Eye Doctors to schedule an appointment with a professional optometrist. We will perform a full eye assessment and work with you to identify the best possible vision treatment. Call us at 763-416-0622 for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our Six Eye Doctors!