5 EASY WAYS TO HELP PROTECT YOUR EYES FROM MACULAR DEGENERATION
Did you know that Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in Australians over the age of 50?
AMD is a degenerative disease of the centre of the retina, called the macula that causes progressive, painless loss of central vision. It affects the ability to see fine detail, drive, read and recognise faces.
Luckily there are 5 easy was to help protect your eyes from Macular Degeneration and help save your sight!
1- Quit smoking
If you smoke, you are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration compared with a non-smoker. There are a number of products and services available to help you quit smoking, speak to your GP or visit www.quit.org.au for more advice.
2- Know your family history:
If you have a close relative with AMD, you have a 50 percent chance of developing the condition. Ask your family members about their medical history and get your eyes checked regularly. If you have early AMD, you can take further steps to reduce its progression.
3- Eat healthy
Having a healthy and varied diet reduces the risk of macular degeneration.
- Eat a 4-5 serves of vegetables (especially dark green leafy vegetables) and 1-2 serves of fresh fruit daily
- Eat fish twice a week (canned or fresh)
- Choose low glycaemic index carbohydrates such as whole grain bread
- Reduce your intake of saturated fat
- Eat a handful of raw, unsalted nuts each week
- Consider taking a good quality vitamin supplement such as Blackmore MacuVision (always speak to your health professional first)
If you regularly exercise and maintain a normal body weight, it is easier to have an overall healthier lifestyle. In one study, scientists found that people who exercised three times a week were less likely to develop macular degeneration than people who didn’t exercise regularly. Always speak with your GP before starting a new exercise program, especially if you are over the age of 60.
5- Speak to you eye health professional
We recommend you get your retina checked at least once a year after the age of 60 with your macular degeneration specialist. Early signs of macular degeneration can then be detected and our ophthalmologist can tailor your management plan. If macular degeneration progresses and becomes active, early intervention is the best course to halt the disease and preserve your vision.