While there may not yet be a cure available for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the elderly, there sure are several measures you can take to considerably reduce the risk of developing and preventing macular degeneration and having to experience age-related macular degeneration related vision loss. As such, you should be diligent in taking the necessary steps to lower the risks of developing age-related macular degeneration, especially so for those that have a family history, which has been identified as one of the risk factors for developing the disease.
What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
As the name suggests, age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease that tends to deteriorate along with aging and is also the leading cause of permanent or severe vision loss for people over the age of 60. Over time, people with age-related macular degeneration may find it impossible or extremely difficult to read, use phones and computers, drive, or even recognize faces.
Ways to Reduce Chances of Developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration
There are preventive ways to reduce the chances of developing age-related macular degeneration.
- Quit Smoking
Amongst all the measures you can take to prevent yourself from developing age-related macular degeneration, quitting smoking is probably the number one way. Upon reviewing 17 separate published studies that address the correlation between age-related macular degeneration and smoking, researchers from the UK found that 13 of these studies suggested that current smokers are approximately two to three times more likely to have age-related macular degeneration as compared to non-smokers.
- Consuming More Fish
One study conducted in the United States found that individuals that consume at least two servings of fish a week are significantly less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration as compared to those who don’t. In a separate study, researchers from Australia suggested that people who consume fish at least once a week are 40% less likely to develop beginning-stage age-related macular degeneration.
- Having Regular Eye Exams
By doing eye exams regularly, your optician would be able to identify vision problems, if any, early. As such, early intervention can take place which is optimal for effective treatment.
- Increasing the Amount of Dark Leafy Greens in Your Diet
Research done has suggested that those who consumed more dark leafy vegetables that contain zeaxanthin and lutein (such as raw spinach and kale) are 43% less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration as compared to those that consume them less.
- Take Multivitamins Daily
If you find it difficult to always maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet, you may consider supplementing your nutrients with multivitamins. While there is yet to be clear evidence to prove that supplements can prevent age-related macular degeneration, studies have suggested that multivitamin supplements containing vitamins E and C, zinc, copper, zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene lower the chances of early age-related macular degeneration developing into a more serious condition.
In one long-term study (15 years) conducted, after filtering out risk factors such as cholesterol levels, age, and weight, researchers concluded that people who lead active lifestyles are 70% less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration as compared to more sedentary participants involved in the study.
If you or your loved one has age-related macular degeneration, it may start to become difficult to perform everyday chores and even pose to be a safety hazard. When this happens, it may be time to start considering engaging home health care services to ensure you and your loved one can continue to live safely in optimal conditions.