Would it surprise you to know that macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. Generally speaking, macular health isn’t something on the forefront of our minds, especially when we are younger or free of vision problems. However, educating oneself about macular degeneration may be a vital step in maintaining healthy vision. Let’s take a quick dive into the basics:
What Is Macular Degeneration?
The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina located at the back of the eye. It is made up of millions of light-sensing cells and is responsible for providing our central vision. As we age the macula may become damaged causing vision to be blurry or distorted.
Macular degeneration itself doesn’t cause complete blindness, however, it can blur or distort the central vision that could interfere with everyday activities. For example, objects may not appear as bright as they should be, seeing faces, reading, writing, driving or other activities that require close vision may become a challenge.
Who Is At Risk?
Though age plays a major role in who is affected by macular degeneration there are still other risk factors involved. Some of the most common risks can include:
– Smoking: Smoking can double the risk of macular degeneration
– Family history: People with a family history of the disease have a higher potential of developing it. Those with a history of high blood pressure or cholesterol levels may be at risk as well since many studies have shown that they can also affect eyesight.
– Lifestyle Choices: Maintaining a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine can help not only your overall health but also your eye health
So how can you help to decrease your risk of macular degeneration? Check out these 3 tips below!
Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Regularly eating dark green leafy vegetables, salmon, tuna and other fish, eggs, nuts, beans, and citrus fruits can contribute to healthy eyes. Smoking should be avoided and regular exercise should be incorporated into your lifestyle.
Vitamin D from a bit of sunshine is great, but too much UV exposure can lead to things like cataracts and macular degeneration. Our eyes can be especially sensitive to the sun so make sure to use a quality pair of sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
Regular Eye Exams
Seeing your eye care professional for regular dilated eye exams is essential. This can help provide a magnified look at the retina and optic nerve so that they can catch macular degeneration or any other eye problems before they worsen.
Make sure to implement these tips sooner than later. Central vision is a prized possession that we shouldn’t take for granted. Don’t wait until symptoms of macular degeneration occurs to take action, implement healthy lifestyle choices and visit EyeScience today to protect your macular health!