macular degeneration

Aging is completely inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that your future has to include macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when there is damage to the macula, which is a crucial part of your eye that controls your central vision.

The macula is necessary when recognizing faces, reading, and watching television. Without treatment, macular degeneration is the number one cause of permanent vision loss among Americans aged 50 or older. Although some people may be genetically predisposed to developing macular degeneration, new studies show that there are risk factors. When avoiding these risk factors, your risk of developing macular degeneration decreases significantly. Check out these four easy ways to prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration!

  1. Don’t Smoke Cigarettes

Along with being awful for your lungs and breath capacity, studies have shown that smoking can increase your risks of developing AMD. A recent British study found that smoking was directly associated with the development of macular degeneration for 25% of AMD cases that caused severe vision loss.  These findings also show that people who live with a smoker double their risks of developing macular degeneration themselves.

  1. Eat a Diet High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Eating a diet that’s healthy will help mind, body, and soul, but to avoid the onset of macular degeneration, it doesn’t hurt to add omega-3 fatty acids into that diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in things like salmon, soybeans, and spinach. Think about it. Add a little extra salmon, oysters, or squid into your diet, and you’re protecting yourself against macular degeneration at the same time. It’s a no brainer!

  1. Stay Active!

Many things that keep our bodies trim and healthy can also help you avoid macular degeneration. Those that are obese are considered more likely to develop AMD. Exercising vigorously just 3 times a week can help reduce your risks of being diagnosed with macular degeneration, as well as fighting off obesity at the same time. We call that a health win.

  1. See Your Eye Doctor If Your Vision Changes

The symptoms of macular degeneration are often painless and can develop over the course of several years. During this time, AMD could be stealing your vision, and you may not even know it. The best defense against age-related macular degeneration is seeing your eye doctor on a regular basis. If you already have a known eye condition, it’s important to make an appointment annually to see your eye doctor. If you notice changes in your vision, or it’s been more than two years since your last eye exam, it may be time to see your ophthalmologist or optometrist. During your eye exam, your eye doctor will be able to check your eyes to make sure they are healthy. If something doesn’t look right, this is the time that your ophthalmologist will be able to help. AMD is not entirely preventable, but if you stay on top of your eye health, your chances of being diagnosed with macular degeneration decrease.

Call Riverside Eye Center today to schedule your eye examination. The only way to stop permanent vision loss from occurring is through frequent comprehensive eye examinations. Schedule today!