February is AMD Awareness Month. We, at Viteyes, want to take this time to focus on this serious topic, and let you know what you can do to help protect yourself and those you love.
So, what is age-related macular degeneration?
AMD is an eye condition that occurs as people get older, usually beginning around as young as age 50. Eye damage occurs in the center of the retina, an area called the macula. This destruction causes blurry vision, dulled sight, and impaired focus. Basically, your eyes cannot see the central field in front of you or may distort or darken it. AMD can be symptomless as it develops, so having an annual optical screening is imperative as you age.
Some quick facts:
- AMD is the lead cause of vision loss for Americans 60 or older
- AMD affects over 11 million people in the United States
- AMD affects 196 million people worldwide
- AMD has global costs of $343 billion
- AMD risk increases from 2% in 50-59-year-old adults to 30% in those 75 and older
Oddly, AMD does not have to affect both eyes. It can actually occur in one and not the other. Also, an early warning that you may have AMD is the distortion of straight lines – your eyes interpret them as being crooked. The eye condition does not cause any physical pain as it progresses. AMD does not cause peripheral or night vision loss.
Nutrition can help protect your vision from deteriorating as you age. Your mother wasn’t mistaken when she made you eat your vegetables. Foods containing vitamin E and vitamin C, like broccoli, peppers, strawberries, and asparagus, will benefit your overall well-being and support your vision health throughout your life. Minerals copper and zinc, which can be found in foods like poultry and nuts, add antioxidants to your system and aid your macula. In addition, making the effort to obtain lutein and zeaxanthin from green, leafy vegetables and eggs can help you fight free radicals, which cause eye damage. Eating nourishing, wholesome foods can be an important aid in the struggle for optimizing your physical condition through the years. A nutrient-rich and balanced diet can lessen your chances of having AMD.
Let’s join forces and support your vision and keep your Life in Sight.