Age-Related Macular Degradation
Do you often feel difficulty in reading something or experience blurred vision in old age? Then you might be suffering age-related macular degradation (AMD). Thus AMD is common in old age. This is an eye disease, which affects the macula (central portion of the retina) of your eye. Hence, you experience blur vision during different activities such as driving and reading the newspaper.
Although AMD is not a permanent vision loss, in this you lose your central vision and not able to drive and see faces. It is the major cause of vision loss in people above 50 years, so proper management is very important.
Types of Age-related Macular Degradation:
There are major two types of AMD, dry and wet.
1. Wet form:
In this condition, blood vessels leak fluid and blood into your retina. Thus vision becomes distorted and straight lines on a page look wavy. With times it becomes worse and foam scar, which eventually causes vision loss.
If you have yellow deposits in your macula, then you are suffering from the dry form of AMD. Hence, small deposits do not affect your vision, but bigger and numerous deposits make your vision distorted and dim. You feel blind spots in the center of vision, untreated condition may cause vision loss.
Symptoms of AMD:
Early on, you do not notice any sign or symptom. Because it might not diagnose until gets worse and affects both eyes. Hence, common symptoms include:
- A less clear vision. You feel blurry vision while reading the fine print, cooking, and driving.
- In the center of your vision, you feel blur or dart areas.
- Rarely, difficult, or worse color perception.
Causes of Age-related macular degradation:
If you are above 50 and a family history of AMD, there is a higher risk of development of this disease. A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating is the main cause of its occurrence. Thus some important contributing factors of AMD are:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol level
- Excessive intake of saturated fats
- Being female, light-skinned, and having a light eye color you are at more risk
But don’t worry! Nature has a solution. You can manage and prevent this disease with a healthy, balanced, nutritious diet, and an active lifestyle.
Prevention of AMD with diet:
Can an orange a day keep AMD away? Yes, of course, because it is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. Hence, it is not possible to reverse the AMD, but you can manage and prevent this with diet. Thus make small dietary changes by improving your nutritional habits, which helps to slow down and prevent the occurrence of Management and prevention of Age-related Macular Degradation causes in old age.
Antioxidants boosting eye health:
According to a study conducted by the National Eye Institute, the high doses of antioxidants 5 to 15 times in a day decreases the risk of development of Management and prevention of Age-related Macular Degradation by 25 %. Thus while formulating supplements for eye health, it is mandatory to add carotenoids and vitamins, which have strong antioxidant power. Some important vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids for treating and preventing AMD are:
- Vitamin E (400 IU/day)
- Vitamin C (500mg/day)
- Copper (2mg/day)
- Zinc (40-80mg/day)
- Lutein (10mg/day)
- Zeaxanthin (2mg/day)
Follow the Mediterranean diet:
The Mediterranean diet is very effective in maintaining your eye health. This eating pattern is rich in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, which add colors and antioxidants to your plate. It is abundant in dark-colored fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, plant-based fats, and nuts, which gives you a large amount of omega-3 and polyphenols. One study in the European Union found that adults over 55 years have a 41 % less risk of AMD development.
Consume retina-protecting pigments:
Carotenoids give protection to your retina such as zeaxanthin and lutein, which are very useful plant chemicals. Thus it is recommended to consume foods rich in these chemicals such as peas, egg yolk, corn, kale, spinach, broccoli, and collard green. Hence, heating increases the bioavailability of these carotenoids. So it is best to cook, stir-fry, and steam these foods to enhance their nutritional contents.
Exercise and AMD:
Other than diet, an active lifestyle is important to the Management and prevention of Age-related Macular Degradation treatment. Thus exercise not only gives strength to your muscles and heart but also ensures your eye health. According to research moderate to low intensity aerobic exercise for three hours per week is very beneficial in preventing AMD. Some important and healthy aerobic exercises are:
- Brisk walking
- Water aerobics and swimming
- Push your lawn-mover
Other types of exercises for AMD:
In old age there is more risk of falling, so add balance exercises in your routine such as yoga. Or just simply stand on the floor on one foot a couple of times daily.
Your sight and eye health matter. Thus if you are over 50, add carotenoids, flavonoids, antioxidants, and polyphenols to your diet to prevent and manage macular degradation. Also, be physically active to minimize the risk of AMD.