If you are looking for ways to prevent macular degeneration, there are some do’s and don’ts that you should be aware of. Also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it is the leading cause of eyesight loss in older adults. But younger people should not ignore it if the first signs of it to appear. Take notice of the following tips in order to successfully prevent this disease and save your eyesight.
February has been declared macular degeneration awareness month in an effort to raise awareness and to help educate people about the condition.
Quit Smoking for Good
Smoking and macular degeneration are very closely linked. Smoking greatly increases one’s chances of developing AMD. It causes oxidative damage to the retina, which is why it is the number one cause of AMD. If you are a smoker, make sure you kick the habit. Not only will you be protecting your eye health, but you will ensure that your overall health stays in top condition.
Start Exercising Right Away
When one has dry AMD, not enough oxygen is reaching the retina, which damages macular cells. Exercising on a regular basis will help you improve your cardiovascular health. It will deliver oxygen from the heart and lungs to everywhere in your body, including the retina. If you want to successfully prevent macular degeneration, say goodbye to inactivity and start exercising today.
Refined Carbs Are the Enemy
Yet another risk factor that increases the risk of AMD are refined carbs. You should avoid refined foods that have a high glycemic index (GI), since those foods increase blood pressure and insulin. High blood pressure causes the narrowing of the blood vessels, so the retina cannot get enough oxygen. Therefore, stay away from refined carbohydrates.
Adjust Your Diet to Prevent Macular Degeneration
Another step in preventing AMD is eating a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables, as well as oily fish. You can thereby reduce bad cholesterol and animal fat intake and maintain low blood pressure. Eat lots of fruit, leafy greens, nuts, vitamins and minerals, and stay away from junk food and sweets.
Add Some Supplements
Nutritional supplements can also help you prevent macular degeneration. Any supplement you choose should contain vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, zinc, copper, lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids. All of them greatly reduce the risk of developing AMD.
The above-mentioned nutrients and antioxidants can also be found in many natural food sources. For instance, leafy greens and other green and yellow vegetables, as well as egg yolks, contain lutein and zeaxanthin. Spinach, beans, mushrooms, nuts, oysters, pumpkin and squash seeds are also zinc-rich foods. Almonds, lentils, asparagus, turnip greens, mushrooms and sunflower seeds have copper in them too.
As for omega-3 fatty acids, salmon, sardines, soybeans, spinach, walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseed oil contain them as well.
Being Overweight Makes Things Worse
If you have a high body mass index (BMI), your chances of developing the disease are greater. Excess body weight greatly increases the risk of AMD. So, make sure you always maintain a healthy weight if you are serious about preventing macular degeneration.
There is no known cure for AMD. You can successfully prevent it by embracing a healthy lifestyle. This means regular exercise and a healthy diet with nutritional supplements. Naturally, it also means no smoking. If you follow these tips, you will ensure yourself healthy eyesight. You will also protect your overall health and significantly improve your life.
Don’t forget to have regular eye check-ups to make sure your vision stays in top condition. Check out our online application form if you want to schedule an eye test. Do not hesitate to New Jersey Eye Center if you have any further questions regarding AMD and its prevention.