Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly. The condition often starts after the age of 60 and slowly causes patients to lose their central vision until they cannot recognize faces, drive or read. There is no foolproof method to prevent macular degeneration. However, there are many things that you can do to minimize your risk.
Routine eye exams are a must to make sure that you are able to identify macular degeneration or any other problem with your vision at the earliest possible stage. Your doctor will tell you how often you should visit for eye exams. If your family has a history of macular degeneration, you may want to let your doctor know so that he or she can schedule dilated eye exams regularly.
Those who are obese, suffering from high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease are much more likely to develop macular degeneration. The risk gets higher and higher as you progress through these conditions without obtaining treatment for them. Maintaining a healthy weight and getting plenty of exercise is a must to help manage these conditions as well as to reduce your risk of macular degeneration. Make sure to take your medication and to stick to your doctor’s recommendations to keep the condition in check.
If you are a smoker, then you have a much higher chance of developing macular degeneration in comparison to nonsmokers. It is never too late to quit smoking. With the right help and will-power, you will be able to give up the habit to improve your overall health.
As for your diet, you will need to focus on adding plenty of fruits and vegetables in to your diet. Unhealthy choices such as junk food, soda and processed food can increase you risk of developing macular degeneration. Include vegetables such as broccoli, kale, peas and spinach along with fruits that are rich with antioxidants which can fight the free radicals in your system. Fish is also an important part of a healthy diet. As a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, fish can help a great deal in reducing your risk of developing macular degeneration. Be sure to include healthy fats such as avocados, walnuts and olive oil in your diet.