In people over the age of 60, macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe permanent vision loss. Doctors explain the many forms of macular degeneration, their origins, risk factors, and how to reduce the risk.
Macular degeneration occurs when the central region of the retina, known as the macula, begins to dissolve or wear down with age, and this age-related macular eye disease can worsen over time. Macular degeneration occurs when aging causes damage to the tiny central region of the retina, or macula, which is the component of the eye that governs acute rectilinear vision, making it the leading cause of severe permanent vision loss in older people. at the age of 60.
There are two forms of AMD: non-exudative (dry) AMD, characterized by the accumulation of drusen, yellowish deposits under the retina that ultimately lead to loss of central vision, and wet (wet) AMD, which is characterized by loss of fluid or bleeding in the macula, resulting in loss of central vision.
One of the main causes of AMD’s severe vision loss is smoking. It accelerates the course of the disease up to five times compared to non-smokers. By increasing the number of oxidants in the circulation and in the eyes, smoking reduces the effectiveness of the therapy. Quitting smoking is perhaps the biggest controllable risk factor for AMD sufferers.
Methods for preventing age-related macular degeneration include the following
- Stop smoking
Smoking can increase a person’s chances of developing AMD by up to double. Additionally, the practice exposes you to potentially harmful free radicals and unstable chemicals, which can damage cells and prevent nutrients from reaching the retina. It is best if you can resign as soon as possible.
- Know your family history
People who have a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with AMD are at a substantially greater risk of having it on their own. Those who have a family history of the condition should pay attention to signs such as difficulty recognizing faces, difficulty adjusting to low light, and seeing straight lines that appear wavy.
- Consume leafy vegetables
Antioxidant vitamins abound in them. These nutrients help in the prevention of cell damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to eye disease. Rather than using supplements, family members should consume foods that contain high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. Hundreds of additional phytochemicals are also included in these foods, all of which are likely to be beneficial.
Foods rich in lutein and / or zeaxanthin, such as egg yolk, yellow corn, orange or yellow peppers, kale, broccoli, spinach, kiwi, grapes, zucchini, and squash, are known to be protective. People with AMD are less likely to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as bi-weekly meals of high-fat seafood such as salmon, sardines, tuna, or mackerel.
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- Take vitamins and supplements
Patients on an inadequate diet may consider taking multivitamins. And patients at risk for severe AMD should see their doctor for a particular vitamin combination known as AREDS. Macular Degeneration Vitamins “are not a therapy or a cure, but they can reduce the chances of contracting the more severe types of AMD.” According to AREDS2, a formula consisting of 10 milligrams (mg) of lutein, 2 milligrams (mg) of zeaxanthin, 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, 400 milligrams (IU) of vitamin E, 80 milligrams (mg) of zinc oxide, and 2 milligrams (mg) of cupric oxide can reduce the risk of developing disease by 25%.
- Put on your sunglasses
The American Macular Degeneration Foundation suggests wearing a pair with a “UV 400” designation to protect against UV rays and blue light, which can cause damage to the retina if exposed repeatedly.
- Maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure
High blood pressure can cause restriction of blood flow to the eye, contributing to AMD. Weight loss has been shown to reduce blood pressure and even small gains can benefit if you already have high blood pressure.
- Use an Amsler grid to challenge yourself
It is now possible to use a gadget at home to help doctors detect visual difficulties related to macular degeneration. If you find that the central area of your vision in one eye has darkened or that the grid lines are wavy after looking at the paper grid, consult your doctor. Keep your Amsler grill in a place that you remember to check it every day.
Tips to reduce the risk of macular degeneration
- Undergo frequent eye exams
If you are between the ages of 45 and 60, you should see an ophthalmologist every two to three years, and if you are 60 or older, every year. Regular visits to an ophthalmologist can help in monitoring and protecting eye health, which is especially essential if you are at risk for macular degeneration or other eye diseases.
- Put on your sunglasses
Wearing sunglasses is one of the simplest ways to help prevent macular degeneration. According to doctors, direct sun exposure has been linked to AMD and other eye problems.
- Stop smoking
Reduce the risk of macular degeneration by quitting smoking. Age-related macular degeneration is four times more common in smokers than in non-smokers.
- Green leafy vegetables should be consumed
Macular degeneration can be prevented by eating dark leafy vegetables in particular. According to the ophthalmologist, eating more spinach, cabbage or kale (all rich in carotenoids) can reduce the incidence of AMD. You should also increase your intake of fatty seafood. People who ate fish at least three times a week had a lower risk of macular degeneration and development.
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level
Maintaining a healthy weight, as well as excellent blood pressure and cholesterol levels, is key to maintaining eye health.