How to Prevent Macular Degeneration

Macula is the central portion of the retina. Macular degeneration or defect in the macula is usually caused in old age people. This defect leads to loss of vision in which an individual is unable to identify faces and finds it difficult to read. It is essential that you take some preventive measures at early age and know how to prevent macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration is also termed as age related macular degeneration or AMD. Other activities can be done as usual because the rest of the part of the retina is not damaged. This disease occurs in two forms, dry and wet. Dry AMD is caused due to the breakdown of light sensitive cells, whereas wet Macular AMD is caused due to the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina.

If you notice any of the symptoms that are given below, then you are at the risk of having macular degeneration. Take proper preventive measures as early as possible to reduce the severity of the defect.

Symptoms of macular degeneration:

  • This defect usually begins as a white spot within the retina, which further grows large enough so that the images that we look at appear blurred.
  • Trouble in discriminating colors, as there is very slow recovery of visual function after exposure to the bright light.
  • There may appear a grid of straight lines when to try to visualize things and there is also loss of central vision which can further lead to rapid loss of vision.

Who is at risk?

  • Increasing age increases the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight can also damage the macula within the retina.
  • Any heart disease such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis can also cause damage to your eyes.
  • Smoking and a family history of defect can also be a reason for macular disease.

There is no cure for macular degeneration. Therefore, you have to take proper preventive measures to prevent the disease.

Preventing macular degeneration or AMD:

  • If you have any cardiovascular disorders, get them treated immediately. These defects cause a great impact on the eyes. If there is no proper blood supply to the nerves of your eyes, they cannot function properly and can cause macular degeneration.
  • It is observed that people who suffer from hypertension are at greater risk of having this defect. The fluctuations in the blood pressure are responsible for this.
  • Regular cardiovascular activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics and yoga are helpful for improving your cardiovascular activities.
  • Sufficient supply of vitamin is very important to reduce the risk of any kind of retinal disorder. Vitamin E and Vitamin A are the most important vitamins that are necessary for your eyes. Fish and cod liver oil is the rich sources of these vitamins. Include them in abundance in your diet.
  • Fish are also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. This is also necessary to make your vision strong and reduce the risk of AMD.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, zinc, copper should be included in your diet. Foods that contain these nutrients are spinach, collard greens and kale. Include at least one serving of such foods in your diet daily.
  • Do not expose your eyes to sunlight for a long time. Whenever going out in sunlight, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Don’t look directly to the sun. Small children usually try this. Restrict your children from doing this.
  • Do not look directly and closely to any high intensity sources of light such as tube lights, fluorescent lights, etc.
  • Maintain safe distances from books while reading and read where there is adequate light so that you do not strain your eyes excessively. It is safe to maintain a distance of at least 12 to 15 inches from the books while reading.
  • Do not expose your eyes to the harmful chemicals that are present in the atmosphere. If there is excessive pollution on the streets, then wear protective glasses that will prevent the direct contact of the dust and dirt with the eyes.
  • Go for regular eye check-ups to an ophthalmologist. If you are noticing blurred images while looking at people or reading, then take immediate treatment.
  • Use Amsler grid to check your vision at home. An early diagnosis means better treatment. Check both the eyes using this grid. Doctors use this grid to check macular degeneration, which is easily available online or you can take one from your doctor.
  • If any of the grids look blurred, wavy or distorted, or any of the lines look missing and non-uniform, there is a defect in your vision.
  • Cigarette smoking should also be prohibited. This will also increase the risk of AMD as you age.
  • Rest your eyes for some time. If you have to sit for a long time in front of computer system, then take breaks in between.
  • There are exercises meant for eyes that should be done at least ten to fifteen minutes daily to improve the blood circulation to your eyes.

Follow the tips that are given above to prevent AMD or macular degeneration. These tips can also be followed to prevent any kind of eye disorders.

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