All of us have one thing in common. As time passes, we age and one of the areas that begins to deteriorate as we grow older is our eyes. One of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD). In this condition , the retina becomes blocked by debris, which affects your central vision. This condition can decrease vision up to 60 percent and is one of the more prevalent causes of age-related blindness. Unfortunately, ARMD can’t be simply treated with eye drops or lenses. Because doctors aren’t sure what causes macular degeneration, there is no medical cure.
However, while there are no eye drops or special lenses that will cure macular degeneration, there are things you can do to stop, slow down or even reverse ARMD. Studies have shown that some simple dietary and lifestyle changes can delay the effects of macular degeneration. Here are some recommendations:
¨Take your vitamins – There are numerous vitamins, minerals, and supplements known to contribute to eye health. Some of these are vitamins A, C, D, and E, beta-carotene, lutein, chromium, copper and zinc.
¨Up your anti-oxidants – Because oxidation of the retina is one of the causes of ARMD, increasing anti-oxidants in you diet can help fight off macular degeneration.
¨Eat cold-water fish – Consuming cold-water fish such as trout, tuna and salmon three times a week increases your intake of omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for healthy blood vessels such as those in the retina and macular. If you don’t like fish, you can take fish oil capsules instead.
¨Get plenty of exercise— Exercise pumps blood through your body which carries oxygen and anti-oxidants to your eyes and macula, helping improve your eyes overall health.
¨Stop smoking— Smoking increases the risk of macular degeneration about 3 times. Macular de- generation occurs 10 years earlier in smokers.
A thorough exam by your eye care specialist can help determine if you have any early signs of macular degeneration. If you have questions or concerns about ARMD and what you do to halt or delay its effects, contact your eye specialist, or call us at Shanbom Eye Specialist.