Perhaps someone you know has been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration. Unfortunately, this condition typically worsens over time. In fact, for people over the age of 60, it is the leading cause of permanent vision loss. But everyone can take steps to reduce their risk of developing this condition.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Often referred to as AMD, age-related macular degeneration involves the retina, specifically, the macula. This is the central portion of the retina where cones are found in a large concentration. These photoreceptors are known for detecting color and sensing light from your direct line of vision. If they are damaged and their function is impaired, your retina cannot send your brain an accurate picture of the image you’re looking at. This can result in severe vision problems, including partial or more significant blindness.
Some people with age-related macular degeneration maintain a degree of peripheral or side vision, but struggle to see clearly what’s in front of them. They may have blind spots in the front region of their vision, or over time, they may lose their central vision altogether. Visual distortions may also occur, with straight lines appearing wavy.
Other symptoms that may or may not be present include blurred vision, dark or fuzzy areas in your central vision, and issues with color perception. If you are having any of these symptoms, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with an eye doctor.
What Are The Top Risks?
Not everyone develops macular degeneration as they age. There may be a genetic predisposition to developing it; however, regardless of whether or not this condition runs in your family, there are certain risk factors you need to be aware of:
- Smoking: This habit constricts blood vessels, reducing the supply of blood to the eyes and consequently limiting the level of healthy nutrients the retina can receive.
- Weight: Research suggests that having a high body mass index (BMI) can increase the chances of developing age-related macular degeneration.
- Heart Disease: Evidence also exists linking AMD and heart disease.
- High Blood Pressure: There also appears to be a link between high blood pressure and AMD in some people.
Ways To Reduce Your Risk
If you smoke, do everything in your power to quit the habit. You’ll benefit healthwise in many ways, including reducing your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration.
If you are overweight or obese, taking measures to reduce your weight will benefit your overall health while reducing your risk of getting AMD.
Changing your diet can have a healthful effect on your eyes and your heart as well, reducing heart disease and AMD risks. Avoid saturated fats, and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other fiber-rich foods for your heart and eye health.
If you have high blood pressure, controlling it through relaxation techniques and medicine prescribed by your physician can have positive effects on your vision as you age.
Eye Supplements Can Help Maintain Macular Health
At Viteyes, we offer vision supplements and vitamins for the eyes to help them stay healthy for clearer vision. Ask us about how an eye supplement can help maintain your macular health. Reach out to us today!