Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the loss of central vision over time, while the peripheral vision remains intact. It is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss among the elderly. Unfortunately, there are currently no cures for AMD, but a variety of lifestyle changes have been found to slow down the advancement of the condition.
Who is Most Likely to Get Macular Degeneration?
As the name suggests, AMD mostly affects people over the age of 65, though it can begin at 50. If there's a history of the condition in your family, you ought to practice these preventive measures, as the risk factor increases significantly with family history.
There is currently no cure for AMD, but you can institute some changes to your lifestyle that will yield great results. Let's look at a few of them:
1. Stop smoking. Smoking does more than harm your lungs; every cigarette you smoke damages your vision. Smokers are four times more likely to have AMD.
2. Eat nuts and fruits daily. A daily healthy serving of nuts and fruits has been found to lower the risk of advanced AMD substantially.
4. Exercise Regularly. Exercise reduces the risk of getting the condition. Daily physical activity can lower the risk factors by up to 70%. Note, though, that the exercise has to be consistent and over a long period.
5. Eat fish. Omega-3s found in fatty fish reduce the risk of having the condition by at least 30%.
6. Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates. They may be sweet, but they are slowly killing you from the inside. Refined carbs have a high glycemic index that causes increases in blood sugar and insulin level. Brown rice, multi-grain bread and whole-grain bread are examples of low glycemic index foods that are good for you.
7. Have regular eye exams. It is recommended to have an eye exam every 2 - 3 years if you are between 45 and 60 and every year if you are over 60. By visiting an eye doctor regularly, you ensure that your doctor will be able to detect AMD in time and help you receive proper treatment.
Scientists haven't found a cure for macular degeneration yet, but you could change your lifestyle to reduce your risk. Avoid smoking, eat nuts and fruits, exercise regularly, avoid processed carbohydrates and never skip check-up day. You may not be able to cure it, but you don't have to let it reduce your quality of life.