For most of us, our eyesight is one of the most precious commodities we have, allowing us to see and experience the world around us in HD and navigate ourselves without effort.
Despite this, many don’t realize that our lifestyle choices – at any age – directly impact the health of our eyes and our likelihood of retaining eyesight in the long term, particularly by avoiding one of the most common causes of preventable blindness: age-related macular degeneration.
What is age-related macular degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that causes the deterioration of the macula – the part of the retina located at the back of the eye allowing us to perceive things in the center of our vision.
As we get older, the macula can begin to degenerate, causing our central vision to become blurry, distorted and – in many cases – eventually leading to a total loss of sight in this area, so we’re unable to see what’s in our direct line of sight.
Though age is the biggest factor contributing to AMD, there are several lifestyle habits you can implement to improve your macular health and protect your eyesight – even as you get older.
Here are 5 tips to help you improve your macular health and enhance your eyesight long-term.
Enhance your diet.
Getting enough vitamins from our diet is essential to maintaining the health of the macula, by protecting against harmful oxidants, which speed up cell degeneration as we age.
These antioxidants include vitamin A, E, K, and carotenoids, which are found in abundance in vegetables such as kale, carrots, and spinach.
So, ensuring your diet is full of nutritious veggies (and fruits) is a must.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Studies have linked obesity to an increased risk of macular degeneration, likely due to the high blood pressure – a.k.a. hypertension – that tends to come with a high BMI.
Hypertension leads to poor blood circulation in the body and can stop essential blood and nutrients from reaching the eye, causing cell death and, ultimately, the degeneration of the macula.
So, try to ensure you maintain a healthy weight. Implementing regular exercise into your routine can not only help you to achieve this, but it’s a great way to improve circulation, too.
Smoking speeds up the aging process and causes damage to both DNA and cells. In the eyes, this can lead to the macula’s rapid degeneration and our central vision as a result.
Even if you’ve smoked all your life, research has shown that former smokers only have a slightly higher risk of macular degeneration than those who have never smoked, while current smokers have a risk of at least twice as high.
So, it’s worth giving up no matter how old you are.
Use AREDS2 supplements.
Incorporating an AREDS2 supplement into your daily routine can support your macular health.
Research-driven AREDS 2 eye supplements from Viteyes® are full of all the things you need and limited on the things you don’t — making them the optimal vitamins for your eye health. Viteyes® formula utilizes less zinc than other AREDS 2 brands, making it easier to digest and avoiding zinc-related problems. With a variety of formulas, Viteyes® has the right AREDS 2 supplement for macular support with just one dose per day!
Protect your eyes from the sun.
Everyone knows that UV rays from the sun are damaging to our cells, and this still holds true when it comes to our eye health. UV rays are thought to form free radicals which damage the macula and contribute to the onset of age-related macular degeneration.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to wear sunglasses that protect against these harmful rays, wear a sun hat, and stay in the shade on sunny days when possible.
If you want to improve your macular health and protect against AMD, make sure to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a diet full of anti-oxidants, regular exercise, and supplements, while making sure to protect your eyes from UV rays – and, if you’re a smoker, stop smoking as soon as possible.