Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that affects the macula. It is a small part of the retina that is responsible for central vision. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss for people in their 60s.
By 2050, it is estimated that 22 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with AMD. Though the condition seems prevalent, you can lower your risk of getting it. Here are five tips to help you do so.
1. Schedule regular eye check-ups.
Don’t just visit your doctor when you experience changes or irregularities with your vision. If you want to detect eye problems like AMD early on, make it a habit to go to your doctor for regular eye check-ups.
2.Avoid or quit smoking.
Smoking is one of the greatest risk factors for AMD because it exposes the body to free radicals in cigarette smoke. When they enter your blood stream, it can easily travel up to your eyes and affect the blood vessels that support the retina.
If you’re a smoker, plan on quitting as early as you can, because research shows that the risk doesn’t immediately fade once you stop the habit.
3. Maintain a healthy diet.
Maintaining a healthy diet lessens your risk for any type of health problem, including AMD.
Health expert, Joy Bauer, share the nutrients and vitamins that can reduce your risk of AMD. She wrote that food rich in Vitamin C, E, B6, B12, Folate, Beta-Carotene, Zinc, Lutein, Zeaxathin, and Omega-3 can help lower your chances of being affected with AMD. So, make sure to include a lot of vegetables, fruits, fish, and other sources of those nutrients in your diet.
Meanwhile, avoid saturated fat, sugary food, and refined starches. High levels of blood sugar can result to sugar concentration in the eye, which is harmful to the retina.
4. Exercise regularly.
Obesity is a risk factor for AMD. That’s why it’s important to stay physically fit and within your normal weight if you to help prevent this eye condition from affecting you.
Exercising regularly doesn’t necessarily mean toiling for hours in the gym. You can create a workout plan that fits right into your schedule and what your body can take. For starters, you can try walking around the neighborhood or performing dance exercises to make the activity more fun. It’s all up to you. What matters is that you break a sweat, get your body moving, and shed off those extra pounds.
5. Protect your eyes from UV rays.
UV rays can cause damage to your retina, and if your eyes are constantly exposed to them, you are putting yourself at higher risk for AMD. When stepping out, use UV-protected eyewear, hats, or visors to protect your eyes from direct sunlight.
Good eyesight is essential to overall quality of life. So make proper eye care a priority to avoid problems such as AMD. Meanwhile, if you already have this condition, it’s still advisable to follow the tips discussed in this article, because they can help slow down its progression.