Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Inevitable?
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss among older Americans. In fact, according to the CDC, AMD affects about 6.5 million Americans over the age of 40. Other research predicts that 17.8 million people in this country will have age-related macular degeneration by 2050. This may have you concerned about your own eyesight, wondering, is AMD a certainty?
You may not realize it, but age is not the only factor that increases your chances of developing AMD. Race plays a factor, with Caucasian people more likely to develop AMD than people of African or Asian descent. Genetics plays a part, certainly, but some behaviors can also impact your likelihood of having this condition. For instance, smoking triples the risk of getting age-related macular degeneration.
What can you do to prevent AMD? There are several lifestyle choices you can make that will lower your risk.
- Don’t smoke. This can’t be stressed enough. Smoking is bad for every system in your body, including your cardiovascular system, respiratory system, your reproductive system and more. It damages your skin, brain, bones and eyes. In addition to raising your risk of developing AMD by three-fold, smoking can also increase your chances of developing dry eye and other eye conditions.
- Eat a healthy diet. Specifically, pack your diet with dark leafy greens, fish, fruit and nuts. Additionally, reduce your intake of processed foods and refined carbs.
- Take a supplement. There are a variety of different products on the market, so ask your doctor for suggestions of supplements that support eye health.
- Exercise regularly. Staying fit and maintaining a healthy weight not only improves your overall health but can specifically reduce your risk of developing AMD as well.
- Wear sunglasses every time you’re outside. This is another measure that protects your eyes from a variety of problems, as UV exposure increases the risk of developing cataracts, astigmatism and AMD.
- Have regular eye exams. Vision screenings are not enough: it’s important to have a complete eye exam. During this exam, your eye doctor will check for eye muscle imbalance, vision disorders, and eye disease. Additionally, regular eye exams can help detect conditions like high cholesterol or even a brain tumor.
If you’re looking for an ophthalmologist or optometrist in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, or Raymond, Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Celebrating over thirty-five years of eye care, we proudly provide our patients with personalized eye care, using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.434.4193 or contact us through our website.
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