Currently there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), however there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of getting AMD or slowing down AMD related vision loss. Macular Degeneration happens when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. It is a progressive deterioration of the macula resulting in a gradual loss of the central part of a person’s vision.
What can you do?
- Don’t smoke. Stop smoking. Studies from the University of Manchester (Manchester, UK) showed that people that smoked or had smoked have a higher risk factor for developing macular degeneration vision loss.
- Eat plenty of dark, leafy green vegetables like raw spinach, kale, and collard greens. A study published by researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary reported that people who consumed vegetables rich in carotenoid, (lutein and zeaxanthin) had a lower risk of AMD than those who did not eat carotenoid rich vegetables.
- If you already have AMD, one of the AREDS specially formulated supplement for macular health should be taken. Two large clinical trials that were conducted by the National Eye Institute have suggested that certain nutritional supplements can slow the progression of AMD among patients with early and intermediate stages of macular degeneration. Based on the AREDS2 results published in May of 2013, the study authors concluded that adding Lutein and Zeaxanthin to the original AREDS formula and removing beta-carotene from the supplement may increase its safety and effectiveness in preventing the progression of macular degeneration among certain people with high risk of vision loss from AMD.
The AREDS2 antioxidant vitamin formula contains the following ingredients; Vitamin C 500 mg Vitamin E 400 IU Zinc 25 mg Copper 2.0 mg Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 2.0 mg As always, before taking any supplements you should check with your physician to make sure that the formulation is right for you.
- Eat fish. Some studies have found males who ate fish twice a week were 44-45% less likely to have late-stage AMD.
- Exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight.
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
- Wear sunglasses outdoors to block out UV lights that may cause eye damage.
- Have regular eye exams. Make sure during your eye exam that your eye doctor is checking for AMD changes in your macula.