Why concern yourself with macular degeneration prevention if you don’t have the condition? While it is possible to stop or slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration once you’ve been diagnosed, there is currently no cure if you’re diagnosed with AMD.
In other words, once you have AMD, you’ll want to make permanent changes to your lifestyle habits to slow down the progression of the disease. If you don’t, then you may eventually suffer drastic loss of vision.
Luckily for those concerned about macular degeneration, prevention tips are simple to follow. A little education on macular degeneration causes and prevention can go a long way. Let’s break down a few easy-to-follow macular degeneration prevention tips now.
Need a review of the causes, signs, symptoms, and treatments of macular degeneration? Check out our article: What is Macular Degeneration?
Tip #1: Don’t skip your eye exams
At the top of our list of macular degeneration prevention tips is making sure that you schedule and go to regular eye exams. While eye exams won’t exactly prevent macular degeneration, they can give you the opportunity to catch the diseases early and prevent the disease from progressing. During an eye exam, your doctor will look for the initial signs of macular degeneration. If spotted, you can immediately begin AMD treatment recommendations and as a result, slow down its progression.
The frequency of regular eye exams should increase as you age, with those over the age of 50 attending an eye exam at least once every one to two years.
Think you might be showing signs of macular degeneration? Check out our article on how to self-test using the Amsler grid screening test.
Tip #2: Take your vitamins
Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with AMD, some vitamins may help delay the onset or s progression of the disease. But if you’re wondering, “What vitamin can you take to help prevent macular degeneration?” — that’s not exactly how this tip works.
According to studies, including this Harvard macular degeneration study, a simple (yet high-dosed) vitamin cocktail that includes vitamins such as vitamins A, E, and C can slow the progression of macular degeneration. However, taking a consistently high dosage of these vitamins has not been shown to prevent the disease from setting in altogether. Many doctors would even recommend a better diet over a surplus of vitamins (prior to a diagnosis).
Tip #3: Quit smoking
Smoking can negatively impact your body in more than ways, but many people don’t realize that smoking can impact your vision, as well. In fact, smoking is considered one of the leading causes of macular degeneration and a major contributing factor of its progression; Research shows that smokers are 2 to 5 times more likely to succumb to macular degeneration than non-smokers are. In other words, if you want to prevent or slow down AMD, then make this macular degeneration prevention tip one of your top priorities.
Tip #4: Improve your diet and exercise
Similar to smoking, those with a poor diet and lack of an exercise routine are more susceptible to macular degeneration. A poor diet can lead to issues with your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol — all of which can negatively impact eye health. Couple these issues with little-to-no exercise and you’re considered to be 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer from AMD. Long story short, if you include more greens and walking in your life, macular degeneration will be less likely to pop up.
The American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF) has created a guide to eating right for your eye health, including information on macular degeneration foods to avoid. Eye Center of Texas has also published a guide to the best foods for eye health (originally geared toward diabetics, but applicable to all patients).
Tip #5: Consider drug therapy
As a treatment option for wet macular degeneration, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) inhibitors have been shown to significantly help prevent the progression of AMD. In some cases, VEGF inhibitors have even helped those suffering from wet AMD recover some of their lost vision. These particular drugs are used to reduce swelling, as well as the formation of new blood vessels (both of which are issues that can negatively impact your macula and lead to further vision loss).
VEGF inhibitors have shown to cause other health issues, so it’s important to speak with your doctor and weigh all your options before beginning this macular degeneration treatment option.
Want more help than macular degeneration prevention tips? Contact Eye Center of Texas.
These 5 macular degeneration prevention tips can help prevent and slow down AMD’s progression. However, comprehensive treatment of macular degeneration requires routine appointments with your eye doctor and consistent improvements with your lifestyle choices and habits.
AMD is a common eye disease that many people struggle with on a daily basis. If your eyesight is getting worse, if you’re over the age of 50, or if eye disease runs in the family, the time to take preventative action is now.
At Eye Center of Texas, you can speak with a leading retina specialist in Houston and get expert help maintaining your eye vision for as long as possible. We are here to answer your macular degeneration questions, from, “What is the best treatment for macular degeneration?” to clarification regarding dry vs. wet macular degeneration.
Call us at 713-797-1010 or fill out our online form to request an appointment today.
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