People over the age of 60 have a greater chance of developing macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. Macular degeneration robs people of the central vision, making it hard to focus on things. It becomes almost impossible, to read, write, or even identify people"s faces.
While there"s no way to completely prevent this terrible condition, there are way of lowering your chances of developing it, and slowing it"s progression if you do. Follow these few tips in order to keep your eyes healthy as long as possible.
- Stop Smoking Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you. It affects your lungs, heart, and just about every other organ in your body, including your eyes. Not only does smoking double your chances of developing macular degeneration, it also increase the rate it which it develops. Tobacco won"t just make you go blind, it will make it happen fast.
- Review Your Family"s Medical History Macular degeneration is partially affected by our genes. In fact, having a close relative that"s been diagnosed with the condition means you have a 50/50 chance of developing it, as well. Talk with your family about their eye health, and find out if anyone close to you has been diagnosed. Catching it early gives you a better chance of successful treatment.
- Healthy Diet Food low in cholesterol and high in omega-3 fatty acids, fish for example, have been proven to reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Conversely, foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats have shown to increase your chances of developing macular degeneration.
- Regular Exercise The benefits of regular exercise are countless, but among them you"ll find the lowered risk of developing various eye problems throughout your life. In fact, one study has shown that exercising 3 days a week was enough to lower the risk of developing more serious forms of macular degeneration by an incredible 70%.
- Routine Eye Exams An important part of treating macular degeneration is catching it as early as possible. Many people who contract it may go years without knowing, because the early symptoms may be hard to detect. A trained ophthalmologist will be able to accurately test for a wide range of potential eye problems. Scheduling regular eye exams, at least once every two years, will greatly help in catching these types of problems early, making treatments much more effective.
by Emily Tait